Chef Duncan Gott of Taylor’s Automatic Refresher - Biography

Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco

October 2011

The first day Gott and his brother opened the doors to Taylor’s Automatic Refresher back in 1999, they hoped for at least 50 customers—650 came through. And just like that, Taylor’s became a Wine Country mainstay from day one, providing locals with some of the region’s best burgers, fish tacos, sweet potato fries, and milkshakes in down-home, California style. Today Gott has expanded Taylor’s to two more locations, building the second in San Francisco’s Ferry Building in 2004 and the third in the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, CA. His goal is to increase that number to 10 Taylor’s restaurants within the near future.

The concept behind Taylor’s is based on a simple idea that both Gott and his brother had upon being offered the old St. Helena burger joint that would eventually be the first of the restaurant trilogy: Make food that we like to eat. Pair this no-brainer philosophy with an initiative to turn all restaurant trash into compostable waste—everything Taylor’s gives to customers and serves its food on is compostable—and you’ve got a brilliantly simple concept that not only wins over stomachs but also green-minded consciences.

Gott began in the restaurant business when he dropped out of college to open up his own deli/specialty food store in Calistoga, CA. It was there he learned most of what he knows about food, working directly with chefs and gaining hands-on experience with food-handling and catering. Gott also credits his parents for instilling him with their love of food and dream of opening a family-run restaurant.