Andaz West Hollywood welcomes Justin Taylor as its new executive chef. The hotel has also revamped its cocktail menu to complement Taylor’s dishes.
Taylor, a New Jersey native, discovered his culinary passion at an early age when he saw the original “Iron Chef”—the famed Japanese culinary competition—on television. A young guitar player and artist, he was instantly inspired by the creativity of cooking, and it was then that he decided to pursue it as a career.
Taylor’s first foray into the culinary world was at local restaurant assisting with brunch service—organizing pastries, cooking bacon and learning how to make desserts. A year later, Taylor enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America. During his time there he worked at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in London, and, upon graduation, went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in management from CIA.
Taylor spent several years in catering as well as at various restaurants in Boston and Nantucket, where he gained an appreciation for fresh, farm-to-table cuisine. In 2011, Taylor moved to New York City to work at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Most recently, he helmed the kitchen at Andaz 5th Avenue.
During his first few weeks at Andaz West Hollywood, Taylor has channeled his creative energy, love of music, and personal cooking style of clean, bright flavors to craft a new dinner menu for Riot House Restaurant. Taking cues from the hotel’s musical roots, Taylor’s menu features whimsical dishes that also capture the seasonality of California cuisine.
Taylor is currently working on breakfast, lunch and brunch menus that will debut later this fall.
In addition to Taylor’s new dishes, Riot House Restaurant has created brand-new cocktails featuring fresh flavor combinations and clever names that pay homage to the hotel’s storied history. Highlights include Aloe from the Other Side with cachaça rum, aloe vera, lime juice, ginger syrup, cucumber, and club soda; Mahn-go VanGogh with reposado tequila, aperol, lime juice, mango sorbet, basil, and cayenne pepper; and Every Rosé Has its Thorn with rosé, St. Germain, ginger liquor, lemon juice, and rosemary.