Wedding photo by Emily Helen Photography
AFM: You have cooked in many kitchens in the Valley, from Market Street Kitchen to Noca, Metro Brasserie, and Mary Elaine’s. You also worked in New Orleans. More about your Southern-inspired style please.
MT: I was more inspired by the south and southern ingredients after moving back to Arizona to be honest. I love to read and began studying more about the culture, the history and Louisiana in particular (which was jump-started by my time down there). I think you really have to be born and raised southern to fully comprehend it, but it does continue to influence my cooking, and appreciation along with many other regions around the globe. Lots of the time we are simply using ingredients from a particular place and combining them with techniques or flavors from another.
AFM: You are a newlywed! Congrats! Does Melissa like to cook or are you the executive chef at home too?
MT: Usually when cooking at home it’s the both of us in the kitchen, and I may have some “suggestions” for her from time to time. Make no doubt though, Melissa wears the top toque in the Taylor household. Love you Bubba!
AFM: Any plans for having kids?
MT: Not unless they have four legs, and are furry… For right now it’s just us and our Cocker Spaniel Na Pali (named after the beautiful stretch of coastal cliffs on the west shore of Kauai). She’s our little girl.
AFM: What do you like to do on your time off?
MT: We try to get out of town, and check out other beautiful parts of the state. We spend a good amount of time up in Jerome or down in Bisbee. We kind of have a thing for historic/haunted hotels and small towns. My in-laws live up in Prescott, so we find ourselves up there frequently as well.
AFM: Is there a food that you dislike?
MT: Not really to be honest. I do not have any desire to run out in search of an eight-course meal composed solely from insects, but other than that I pretty much eat it all. Oh, except butternut squash, not sure why but I’m good without it.