The story of Tara Kitchen begins…with a love story. Owners Aneesa Waheed and Muntasim Shoaib met in Marrakech, Morocco and after a whirlwind romance, married under starry cobalt skies on a balmy North African night, in the shadow of the Atlas mountains. They left their desert paradise for Aneesa’s hometown of Schenectady—and brought with them their love of Morocco’s rich cuisine and culture. In Tara Kitchen, the only Moroccan restaurant in the capital district, they share that love with a loyal and growing clientele. The couple opened the restaurant in 2012, after nearly three years of offering authentic ethnic food in the Schenectady and Troy farmers markets. Aneesa creates exotic yet accessible dishes—from fragrant tagines to delicious couscous—infused with the complex blend of spices and ingredients unique to Moroccan food. After receiving numerous requests for sauces to cook with at home, Aneesa created the Tara Kitchen line of distinctive jarred sauces that are free of gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, sesame and in some cases, salt and oil. They are available now on our website and at select Northeast Whole Foods stores, Price Chopper, Niskayuna Food CoOp and Honest Weight Food CoOP.


Featured on TEDx

Self-starter Aneesa Waheed talks through the chances and choice that eventually brought her back to Schenectady, NY where she oversees a vast and growing collection of businesses. After spending 14 years in publishing and living in Manhattan, Aneesa Waheed returned to Schenectady NY to pursue business opportunities.


* Chef Josh Gabri named “Rising Star Chef” 2019
* Best Mediterranean Restaurant, Capital Region Living 2019
• Top 75 in Upstate New York 2018
• Named “Women who mean Business”, Albany Business Review 2018
• Best New Restaurant - Troy location, Capital Region Living 2017
• Best in Schenectady County - Capital Region Living 2017
• Best Mediterranean, Capital Region Living 2017
• Top 50 in 50 cities in Upstate New York 2017
• Best Mediterranean, Capital Region Living 2016
• SOFI Award Finalist for Apricot & Prune Sauce.
• Named 40 under 40 by the Albany Business Review 2016
• Named in "Essential Capital Region Restaurant" 2015 Times Union
* Best of the Capital Region, 2015 Capital Region Living Magazine
• Best Vegetarian Cuisine, 2015 Capital Region Living Magazine
• Best-Kept Secret, 2015, Capital Region Living Magazine
• Named Top 5 Restaurant, 2012, Daily Gazette
• Named Best of, 2012, 2013, 2014 Metroland
• Winner of Rising Star Chef Award, 2013
• Rated Number 1 in Schenectady, 2013, 2014, 2015, TripAdvisor
• Rated Number 1 in Schenectady, 2013, 2014, 2015, Yelp