Foodie: Deidra Henry

An icon of Indianapolis casual dining hits refresh with a new farmers-market collaboration.
Taste Café and Marketplace co-owner Deidra Henry has been tweaking recipes since she was 7, when the pizza dough she and her sister made from a Betty Crocker cookbook wasn’t pliable enough to meet her standards. Less than 20 years later, she was the executive chef at Moonshadows in Malibu, where celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Stevie Nicks noshed on Henry’s creations in chaise lounges on an oceanside deck. You’d think after all of that, plus 14 years of seven-days-a-week cooking at Taste (her culinary baby with husband Marc Urwand), Henry would be looking for the exit. Nope. “Luckily, this comes naturally to me,” says the Purdue grad who received culinary training at Johnson & Wales in Colorado.

Next up for her is Annabelle’s Garden to the City, a collaboration with farmers- market favorite Josh Horrigan, who will operate a store with seasonal produce in the former Eat + Drink space next door to Taste while Henry preps a menu built on ingredients available at the moment.

This cook-or-die chef’s longevity is a testament to her attention to detail. Henry saved business notes from her restaurant stints in California, Colorado, and New York (including time on the line at Gramercy Tavern with Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio). She does all the bookkeeping for the business and follows her father’s advice regarding money. “Save it for a rainy day,” Henry says. “If you have a bad three months, you’ll have a stash to get you through.”