The Entrepreneur Chronicles
As a wine professional and WSET Level 3 certified, Tash follows her passion of wine through multiple avenues. Working various sides in the wine industry from hosting tastings, working trade events, pouring at festivals, administrative duties, and restaurant consultation, she’s dedicated to continuously learning, sharing, and connecting with fellow wine and food lovers.
Entering the world of wine can be intimidating and Taste with Tash was created to make wine easy, fun, accessible, comfortable, and inclusive. Tash loves creating a safe space for everyone to explore new wines and food pairings and ask questions! Her excitement and passion come through as she’s dedicated to elevating your wine-tasting experience. Come taste with Tash and have fun exploring various new cuisines with an enhanced tasting experience. https://www.taste-with-tash.com . Our tagline: #winegoeswitheverything!!
I was an avid traveller working in the airline industry and COVID hit. I decided to use my time wisely and follow my passion and instincts. I signed up for my wine studies initially with George Brown College and then went on to complete WSET level three. Having to learn and taste all virtually with limited interaction from my mentors was a challenge but like most things in life, a door closed, and a window opened. My studies helped me take my passion for food and wine to the next level. Three years later Taste with Tash was born, and I am moving to expand beyond Caribbean food and wine tastings to now planning to include Southeast Asian, Ethiopian, Mexican, and West African cuisine and wine pairings. I think I will be handing out passports shortly for all the countries, cuisines, and wines that will be tasted.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, the pressure to be perfect and progress at lightning speed can be overwhelming. The truth is, the path to success is often filled with twists, turns, and unexpected challenges. Embracing imperfection and understanding that progress may not always follow a linear trajectory is crucial for maintaining resilience and fostering long-term success. So, I say to myself but perhaps not often enough…
Set Realistic Expectations:
It’s essential to set realistic expectations from the outset. Entrepreneurship is a journey with its share of highs and lows. Accept that setbacks are a part of the process, and not everything will go according to plan. By acknowledging this reality, you free yourself from the burden of perfection and open up space for creativity and innovation.
Learn from Mistakes:
Mistakes are not roadblocks but stepping stones to success. Instead of dwelling on perceived failures, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Each setback provides valuable insights that can inform your future decisions. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and use setbacks to refine your strategies.
Celebrate Small Wins:
While it’s natural to focus on the end goal, celebrating small victories along the way is equally important. Acknowledge and appreciate the progress you’ve made, no matter how minor it may seem. These small wins boost morale and serve as tangible evidence of your journey, reinforcing the belief that progress is indeed happening.
Build a Support System:
Surround yourself with a network of mentors, peers, and advisors who understand the challenges of entrepreneurship. Having a support system can provide valuable perspective, advice, and encouragement during difficult times. Share your experiences, and don’t be afraid to lean on others when you need guidance.
In the pursuit of entrepreneurial success, the journey is just as important as the destination. By embracing imperfection, learning from mistakes, celebrating small wins, staying adaptable, building a support system, and focusing on the journey, entrepreneurs can navigate the inevitable challenges with resilience and a sense of purpose. Remember, progress is progress, no matter the pace, and success is often found in the willingness to persevere despite imperfections.
What problem does your business solve?
In a world where culinary experiences are as diverse as the cultures they represent; the challenge often lies in bridging the gap between the vibrant flavours of Caribbean cuisine and the traditions that lie within the wine industry. There is a lack of information in the industry regarding certain cultural food and wine pairings. Navigating the sensory landscape of these two rich and distinct worlds can be a daunting task for both chefs and wine enthusiasts. The intricacies of Caribbean flavours, with their bold spices and tropical notes, demand a keen understanding to harmonize seamlessly with the complexities found in wines. This is where I step in, offering a specialized service in sensory profiling and pairing. I solve the conundrum of how to elevate Caribbean dishes with the perfect wine companions, creating a symphony of tastes and aromas that not only respect the authenticity of each element but enhance the overall dining experience. My expertise lies in decoding the sensory nuances, ensuring that the marriage of Caribbean flavours and wines is not just a pairing but a culinary celebration that delights the palate.
What is your magic sauce?
“My magic sauce? It’s a vibrant blend of unwavering passion, a deep, intuitive understanding of the alchemy that occurs when flavours dance on the palate as well as establishing an approachable social tasting environment. Picture this: it starts with a genuine love affair with food, where each ingredient is not just an element but a story waiting to be told. The intensity of my passion intertwines seamlessly with a profound appreciation for the artistry of winemaking. It’s about more than just taste; it’s about crafting an experience that transcends the ordinary. I see food and wine as a dynamic duo, an endless symphony of aromas, textures, and tastes waiting to be orchestrated. My magic sauce is the fusion of these passions, an unyielding commitment to uncovering the hidden connections between Caribbean culinary treasures and the nuanced character of wines. The social aspect of wine is brought out in full colour through the cross-cultural connections formed under these cultural tasting experiences. It’s not just about what’s on the plate or in the glass; it’s about the sensory journey I invite you to embark upon — a journey where passion transforms into an unforgettable culinary masterpiece.”
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
“In the coming five years, my aspirations will be as diverse and flavorful as the cuisines I love. I see myself passionately immersed in various facets of the culinary world. Teaching and conducting workshops hold a special place in my heart; there’s an immense joy in sharing knowledge and fostering a deeper appreciation for the sensory artistry of food and wine. I envision owning a dedicated physical space, a culinary haven where these workshops can come to life — a place buzzing with creativity and the clinking of glasses in celebration.
However, that’s just the beginning. My ambitions extend beyond boundaries, and I’m eager to explore the richness of other ethnic cuisines, broadening my expertise to create a truly global culinary experience. It’s about embracing the diversity of flavours, understanding the cultural tapestry woven into each dish, and translating that into enriching experiences for both me and those I have the privilege of guiding on this culinary journey. So, in the next five years, I aim not just to do it all but to do it all with authenticity, passion, and a commitment to continuously evolving in the ever-expanding world of gastronomy.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
“While my expertise lies in the realm of sensory profiling and pairing Caribbean cuisine with wines, I’ll be the first to admit that self-promotion isn’t exactly my forte. I find my true passion in the flavours, aromas, and nuances of the culinary world rather than in showcasing my abilities. Nonetheless, what I lack in self-promotion, I make up for in my dedication to delivering exceptional experiences through the magic that happens when food and wine harmonize. Let the results speak for themselves — it’s in the taste, the satisfaction of clients, and the joy of creating memorable culinary journeys that I find my greatest fulfillment.”
How did you connect with Food Biz Mentoring?
I met Tricia and Christine through the www/CanadianSmallBusinessWomen.com pitch competition for which I was one of the three winners selected. As part of their Start-up-Stronger program, I have been expanding my sensory tasting to include Caribbean, Southeast Asian, Mexican, and African cuisine. Christine and Tricia are providing one-on-one coaching in addition to the program and my opportunities and horizons have expanded exponentially.
How can people learn more?
If you are a winery, cidery, brewery and or restaurant, a retailer, and an enthused wine consumer wanting to curate the latest/greatest ethnic products with wine and spirits please feel free to reach out to Natasha directly. Be sure to also follow her on Instagram or visit her website