Mark C. Tafoya is a world traveler and self-taught gourmand. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mark has a soft spot for the foods of the Southwest. Green and red chiles, carne adovada, and posole are the foods he grew up loving.
Educated at Yale University, Mark began his international food education while studying abroad in France. Paris offered a broad education in finding fresh, top quality ingredients, as well as doing the most with what’s available.
After graduating from Yale with a BA in French Literature and Theater Studies, Mark spent 10 years as a New York actor. He was a member of Tony Randall’s National Actor’s Theater, sharing a Broadway stage with George C. Scott, Charles Durning and Mr. Randall, and also in Independent films.
Mark has also worked as a freelance writer for The Princeton Review, which enabled him to pursue his love of travel. Mark has learned about many world cuisines first hand, and mastered many of his recipes at the source. Favorite locations and cuisines include Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, Ireland, France, Hungary, Spain and Greece. He continues to broaden his knowledge base through travel and cultural exchange with other cooks throughout the world. Mark also continues to study food in a formal way, and is a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy.
Chef Mark recently took some time away from his Personal Chef Service to work as a Private Chef, traveling with his employer to his many homes and cooking for VIP guests, including royalty, movie stars and heads of state. But he has always preferred working for himself and bringing his love of food to many different clients, so he has returned to New York. Chef Mark is currently working on a project which will marry his loves of travel, culture, writing and food: A book project exploring many micro-regional cuisines, and introducing new depths of flavor and cultural understanding to American palates. Mark is committed to a multicultural approach to life. One of the ways that we can learn to understand and indeed celebrate each other is through our cuisines. Something as seemingly small as our approach to food can transform the world in small and large ways.
Chef Mark is a Certified Personal Chef (CPC), and was recently elected to the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Personal Chef Association. He was awarded the 2006 Marketer of the Year award from the USPCA as part of their Excellence in Business awards, and is the former President of the NY Metro Chapter of the USPCA.
Chef Mark is also the Executive Chef and Co-owner of the Culinary Media Network (TM), a new media company that celebrates the sensual pleasures of food from a multi-cultural perspective. In addition to audio and video shows from around the world, original recipes and food articles, the site also houses an online boutique where you can purchase artisanal gourmet products. It is also the home of the world’s first all-food podcast network.
Chef Mark and his business partner Jennifer Iannolo also own Adventures in Gastronomy, a consulting firm specializing in helping companies in the epicurean marketplace.