Owner and Chef of Taranta Restaurant in the North End, Jose Duarte, was honored last week during a City Hall Celebration to mark Latino Heritage Month. The event marked the end of Latino Heritage Month in Boston and was sponsored by At-Large City Councilor Felix Arroyo inside the City Council Chambers.
During the celebration, which included food, music and live performances, Arroyo used the occasion to recognize Latino small businesses, like Angelaâ€™s, for establishing roots in the city and sharing their Latino culture with the larger population.
â€œThis is an opportunity to celebrate Latino culture in our city and this year, we will also honor the contributions of small businesses in our city,â€ said Arroyo. â€œSmall businesses are the backbone of our economy employing 70 percent of all American workers.Â I take great pride in supporting our small and locally owned businesses and using this opportunity to recognize hardworking small business owners in Boston.â€
Duarte, a native Peruvian, has become a celebrated chef in the Boston area since opening Taranta in 2000.
Arroyo honored Duarte for his work since 2007 to make Tarantaâ€”a Peruvian/Italian fusion restaurantâ€”one of Bostonâ€™s first â€˜Greenâ€™ restaurants.
In 2007 Duarte began his research on sustainability and carbon reduction as a way of reducing costs, offsetting an average of 80 metric tons per year, certifying Taranta as one of the few Green Restaurants in the world. Duarte has received the 2008 City of Boston Green Business Award, the 2011 Massachusetts Recycling Award, Waterford Crystal Chefs of Chefs Award at the Food and Wine Week in Houston Texas, 2011 Massachusetts Chef of the Year and Top 100 â€œMost Influentialâ€ Latinos in Massachusetts. He is a part Le Cordon Bleu Boston Programming Advisory Board, Newbury College Advisory Board and Lynn University Advisory Board. His recent work includes the use of innovation and technology to promote the importance of traceability.
According to its website, Taranta is the result of a marriage between Southern Italian Cuisine and Peruvian Cuisine. Duarte and his wife, Anna, a Bostonâ€™s North End native, have focused on this massive feat of blending these two cuisines with great success.
Zagat named Taranta the Top 5 Peruvian-influenced restaurants in the U.S.