Tanorria is a chef, podcast host and cookbook author. Her credentials are simple: she comes from the “Culinary Institute of Her Parents & Grandparents.” Born in Chattanooga, Tn., and raised in Indianapolis, Tanorria traveled often to be with loved ones. Growing up there was always entertaining and cooking, sharing and telling stories along the way. She got to witness, firsthand, how food can build tradition and show love, compassion, unity, and fun.
Tanorria spent 15 years at Teachers Credit Union (TCU) before leaving to follow her culinary dreams. While at TCU Tanorria was the champion and practitioner for the institution’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative, leading the charge in winning the Indianapolis Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Award. She blended her passions for cooking and DEI to create Unity Tables, a safe space for women of different races, cultures, and backgrounds to sit around a dinner table and share their heart as a way to create unity.
An avid home cook turned chef, she launched Tanorria’s Table right before a 2016 appearance as a contestant on MasterChef season 7, where she walked away as the fourth best home cook in America and a true “master” of shrimp & grits in the eyes of Gordon Ramsey. While she won over producers, judges, and the country with raw talent and a sassy personality, she credits family traditions and Black foodways for fueling her success.
Since her appearance on MasterChef, Tanorria has built a thriving business and loyal client base in the greater Indianapolis and Chicago areas. Her personal chef services at Tanorria’s Table are highly sought after for dinner parties, celebrations and other private events. As an expert instructor, her work also extends to engaging cooking demonstrations and classes for corporate and social events. She has had the privilege of speaking to audiences as a keynote speaker, emcee, and panelist about her significant career shift, anti-racism and social justice work, and the courage it takes to chase dreams. She also serves as the DEI Chairperson of the board for a non-profit called Slow Food Indy.
Voted by Apple Podcast as one of 2022’s Black podcasts that are surviving and thriving, Tanorria co-hosts Black Girls Eating with Candace Boyd of FoodLoveTog. Black Girls Eating is a conversation about sisterhood, food, and Black culture. Her first cookbook, Staples +5 : 100 Simple Recipes to Make the Most of Your Pantry (released in November 2021 by DK Publishing), is considered one of the best cookbooks of 2021 by Glamour.com.
A seat at Tanorria’s Table will nourish your body with food and your soul with justice!