Meet Dara Schwartz, of darista cafe, Columbus Ohio

Dara Schwartz darista cafe columbus Ohio

The birth of an egg.
I was recently asked the other day “when did this all begin?” This food crave, this hunger for sharper knife skills, this fascination for combining asian flavors with Spanish tradition. This began at age four, kneeling on a stool, high enough to lift me above our coil burner stove, with an egg in hand. I remember being guided by the stove’s fluorescent light, the only light that lit the kitchen that evening, trying to emulate my mother’s perfect sunny-side up egg — my favorite meal waiting to be broken with buttered toast. Clearly without supervision, I cracked the egg over the skillet and there I experienced my first sizzle. 17 years later I began traveling the world on my taste buds, where I immersed myself with local cultures through the lens of food — From strolling the streets in Belém, Portugal where I ate my weight in pastéis de nata, to being welcomed into family homes of Thailand and Spain where friendships were born over sweet sticky rice and paella. This was the beginning of the inspired journey to darista café.

Holding a Creative Director position at one of Columbus’ top ten agencies and having 12 years of advertising, marketing and branding experience under my belt, I decided it was time to follow my heart and depart from the agency world. Being a self-trained culinary enthusiast with an appetite for life and flavor, I joined two of Columbus, Ohio’s Top Ten Restaurants and trained under renowned local chefs, while simultaneously launching a pop-up cafe on the Veranda at The Hills Market. I bring together Columbus notable chefs with aspiring home cooks through the North Market School of Cooking, and host my own cooking classes in the local community. Tapping into my memories that had lifted my soul and taste buds, I continue to create dishes and flavors that are not only inspired by local, seasonal food, but are inspired by my journey of heartfelt moments with hopes to be brought to life on your plate.

I invite you to join me as I share my favorite recipe creations, journey through local cultures paying homage to family tradition and connect with Columbus, Ohio’s favorite chefs through Behind the Line chef series where we hope to grow and inspire your inner cook. And most importantly to activate those taste buds!

Keep those taste buds dancing,

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