“What are you thinking?”
I say flatly to Tara. I’m sitting across from her in a restaurant in Fort Greene, chatting over breakfast as we normally do. Well...not really chatting, per se. She’s silently looking down at a spoonful of pumpkin and white bean soup she just tasted. I eye her side of plantains as I wait for her to speak.
This is how most of our talks start. Silences that would make others feel uncomfortable and wonder whether or not her presence was even desired. Onlookers would assume that we don’t like each other, if not anything more than strangers. But this is how we enjoy each other's company.
Still looking at her bowl she says, “Hm, I’m not sure. It’s okay but falling flat at the end. It’s missing...” She clicks her tongue twice.
My own meal is a vegetarian breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, arugula, and avocado on a generously toasted 7-grain sandwich. Wasn’t there supposed to be cheese? I don’t think I see any cheese. I take a first bite—no salt. “I see what you mean. Mine is also missing some personality.” Tara shares a couple sips of her soup, frowning.
I suggested, “Could use... a chili oil? And some crunch.”
Her eyes light up. “Yes, and yours needs a jam.”
I nod in agreement then poach one one of her plantains for my sandwich. I take one, open my sandwich, and roughly smash it against the bread. I replace the piece and take a third bite. Sweet, savory, salty—a perfect compliment. And now I could finally taste the cheese.
Chef Tara Thomas and I met back after several serendipitous events and cemented our friendship in the living room of a mutual friend.She is the chef of Sincerely, Tommy’s new restaurant, Che, and I am the nose behind Redoux. Our first conversation explored the connotations of the word “trauma” and “chaos”, which later inspired Redoux’s scent concept, No. 4 “Chaotic Abundance.”
Our common ground is in our urge to to explore the grey area where the senses inform experiences, and experiences turn into memories. With her being a chef and me being a nose, we naturally gravitate towards food and all its sensory elements.
All of this to say––we are trying something new. Redoux’s online store is where we sell our products meant to cleanse and nourish your body with purpose. But our intent is to build something grander--an collective experience that can be felt on multiple levels. With Tara, we want to create spaces that build upon in-person experiences founded on trust, connection, and joy. A lot of my influence and inspiration for Redoux comes from foods and drinks—especially when shared with others.
We want Redoux to stay experimental, curious, and playful--that’s why we are so excited for what is to come working with Chef Tara. Her and our values align along the fact that we both want people to feel something--expansive, refreshed, intentional--when they come into contact with our craft. And we can’t wait to see how that manifests in real life. If you're excited for them and want to stay in the loop, sign up for our newsletter and you'll be the first to know!