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Ari Taymor

2014 Top 5 Rising Chefs in the U.S.

Los Angeles, CA

Ari Taymor, 28, is chef and co-owner of Alma in downtown Los Angeles, one of the most popular new restaurants in America. The young chef grew up in Palo Alto watching Food Network cooking shows, and awakened his palate with a meal at Chez Panisse. He did an externship at Lucques in West Hollywood, made pasta at Flour + Water in San Francisco, and staged at La Chassagnette in Arles, France, where he absorbed French technique and a lasting farm-to-table philosophy. In 2012, he debuted Alma (Spanish for "soul") as a pop-up in Venice, CA, and then later that year opened the brick-and-mortar Alma in downtown Los Angeles. Accolades began to stack up, the wood-paneled 39-seat restaurant moved to a tasting menu only, and reservations became some of the toughest in town.

Frozen duck liver, smoked maple, carrot, coffee granole at Alma

Taymor's menu changes daily, based on his inclination and whatever ingredients are freshest — but it's the chef's avant-garde imagination, unexpected gastronomic riffs, and uncanny ability to pair unexpected flavors and textures that have thrilled critics and foodies alike. Dishes include watermelon and heirloom tomato with black garlic, macadamia nut and epazote, or sea urchin toast with burrata and caviar. It's impossible to precisely categorize Taymor's signature style, but we can tell you this:
it's eccentric, it's pleasing and it's got soul.

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