Arts, Food & Wine
Chef James brings his unique perspective to a program where the listener can experience the world of food and cooking from thousands of different viewpoints. Chef James explores the palate of great personalities of the artistic world, telling their stories and experiences, discussing culinary trends, and secrets never revealed by the food industry.
Born in Los Teques, capital of the state of Miranda, Tahaan comes from a large family of Arab-Armenian descent.
From an early age, he would spend a great part of the day in the kitchen with his parents, Mimi and Bashir, from whom he developed a taste and attraction for gastronomy, and he never stopped asking “why?” about everything that was being prepared at home.
His favorite toys were not plastic cars but rather cooking utensils: pots, spoons and spatulas.
James learned a lot from the father of one of his childhood friends, a neighbor of Galician descent, chef by profession, whom he called Mr. David (David Abal), and who taught James the basic kitchen skills which a 6 year-old could acquire.
At the age of 13 he emigrated to the United States with his mother. At that time, James suffered from childhood obesity. He learned that his passion for cooking could go hand in hand with a healthy nutrition.
Tennis and martial arts were key for him in managing to overcome obesity. He kept developing his potential in both sports during high school and university.
He enrolled in university to study chemistry, but months later he understood that his place was in the kitchen and not in a laboratory. He entered Universidad Le Cordon Bleu, where he specialized in International Cuisine and Pastry.
From the start, he stood out as one of the most distinguished students and then went on to graduate with honors. During his studies he began his own catering business which he called Avokado. In this business he gained a lot of experience in dealing with customers and in what a chef must face in the corporate world.