Allrecipes Cook to Follow: Tara Bench

Meet this food-blogging, curry-loving traveler— and discover the recipe behind her mind-blowingly good coconut-mango pie!

Tara Bench (@TaraTeaspoon) is one of the 60 million cooks who visit every month. We caught up with her recently — and snagged the story and the recipe behind her coconut-mango pie!

About me: I grew up in Utah and Arizona and now live in New York. For more than 20 years, I've created and food-styled recipes for magazines, books, TV, and food brands. I've just published my first cookbook, Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weeknights and Leisurely Weekends. Before that, I was the food and entertaining director at Ladies' Home Journal and food editor at Martha Stewart Living and its sister magazines, Kids and Weddings. I love sharing approachable recipes on my blog, on my site,, and on Instagram (@TaraTeaspoon).

tara teaspoon (tara bench) holding up her cookbook
Tara Bench

My bucket list: Is it terrible that I don't have one? If I want to do something, I try to make it happen!

Food discovery that changed my life: Curries! I really hadn't had much Indian or Thai food before moving to New York. The mixes of flavor, curries, spices, and endless options of those cuisines always make me happy.

My funniest food memory: Not understanding what we were ordering at that tiny sushi counter in Tokyo. Lost in translation!

Why I love cooking: I was drawn to the hustle and bustle of the kitchen from a young age and adored helping my mom cook. My memories are made up of the smells, tastes, and meal moments of childhood. I am so passionate about the power of food and cooking and how it can truly bring people together, allow us to explore our creativity, and nourish our bodies and souls!

My most popular recipe: Based on Instagram likes, it's my Almond Ginger Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees and my Blow-Your-Mind Coconut-Mango Pie.

Blow-Your-Mind Coconut-Mango Pie
Allrecipes Magazine

Kitchen tool I can't live without: My 9-cup food processor. I use it to make pastry crust and pesto, chop nuts, mix sauces and dressings, blend meatball mixtures, and make curries.

If I could have a superpower: Oh, flying for sure!

My closest thing to an actual superpower: I can make dinner with whatever is in the fridge.

Something few people know about me: I'm secretly a picky eater. I do not like eggs, among many other things. Also, I lived in Saudi Arabia for two years when I was young.

Talent that no one will pay me for: I can twist balloons! You name the shape, I can probably twist it. I'm also fantastic at organizing small spaces. (Hello, New York living.)

My new projects: I'm working on a second cookbook that will be published in 2022. Along with that, I'm constantly creating more recipes and videos for my blog, and I'm working on a series of menu-planning tools.

Tara Bench cooks to follow
Ty Mecham

Favorite thing to cook: Honestly, anything that gets me out of working at my computer! Cooking is my stress reliever. I love making dinner for friends and experimenting with fun cookies.

Recent food discovery: An Asian bread-making technique called tangzhong. It's easy to do at home and creates the most soft, pillowy bread. I created a cinnamon roll recipe using that technique and every bite of those sweet rolls is eyes-roll-to-the-back-of-your-head life-changing.

Favorite saying: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always be what you've always been."

In my fridge right now: Loads of cheese, almond milk, bacon, various veggies, apples, yeast, and millions of sauces and condiments.

My obsessions: My niece and nephews, doughnuts, traveling to different countries, and…I'll never turn down a taco or a chocolate chip cookie.

Tara Bench eating donuts in new york city
Tara Bench

Follow Tara Bench on Allrecipes.

This could be you! Who's your favorite cook on Email us at to nominate yourself or another fascinating community member for a future Cook 2 Follow column. Include a link to the nominee's profile, and you'll make our day.

See more Allrecipes Cooks to Follow.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2021 issue of Allrecipes Magazine.

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love