Taylor joined us as the Cooked Chicago general manager one year ago. His ability to handle various tasks in a happy and organized way has made him a joy to have around, and has helped us improve and organize our systems: from constantly working with IT to working out website issues, to finding the best eco friendly packaging available, to directing and routing drivers to ensure that food arrives to your doorstep on time– Taylor does it all! But when he’s not working hard at Cooked Taylor enjoys time alone on the road on his motorcycle. We loved sitting down with Taylor to find out a bit more about his past experience, food ethics, and what brought him to Cooked in the first place.
Tell us a bit about what you did before Cooked– and what brought you here to us:
I graduated from the University of Illinois, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. I originally attended Southern Illinois University but quite soon after I realized that I did not know what direction I wanted to take in my studies. When I returned to school a few years later, I decided to just study the things I enjoyed most (politics, international relations, economics, and history). I went back to school with a whole different perspective, I wasn’t there because I wanted a degree, I was there because I wanted to learn. I figured I would just build skills in college, and figure out how to use them after I graduated.
When I graduated from U of I, I moved out to San Francisco. Two days after I moved, I was offered a job at a tech startup. I thrived in the fast-paced environment and loved having a large workload and many people relying on me. I quickly moved my way up at that company, but then I decided to move back to Chicago. When I learned about Cooked, it seemed like a great opportunity to really help mold a business and work to make it grow. It’s a challenge, and I love it!
One of my favorite things to go out for is Tapas. I really like doing rounds upon rounds of small plates, with lots of wine and great company.
Keep it simple, with high quality ingredients. If you’re using great ingredients, they’re going to taste great. The more you doctor it up, the more you mask the natural great flavors that come from great sourcing.
What do you do on your spare time?
I would definitely say I’m happiest when riding my motorcycle. When you’re riding in the country, you smell every scent, feel every breeze, and see every movement. With all of those things, you’re completely in the moment, never thinking about anything else but the here and the now. I don’t meditate, but I imagine it’s a similar effect. It definitely helps push the reset button and makes me ready to keep up the intensity and the hours at Cooked.