Rising Star Ari Taymor of Alma - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

May 2014

Growing up in Palo Alto, Ari Taymor ate a lot of fast food. In college he studied international affairs, dabbled in nutrition and public health, and flirted with the idea of medical school. By 21 he was a failed intern at Suzanne Goin’s Lucques. He planned never to cook professionally again. Five years later he opened Alma in Downtown Los Angeles, making waves that rippled throughout the national food scene.

Taymor’s five year transformation from failure to furor started in a community kitchen in Berkeley, where he got back to basics and got down to work. From there he joined the opening team at San Francisco’s Flour + Water and learned how to make pasta from Thomas McNaughton. After learning about Armand Arnal and La Chassagnette, Taymor called the restaurant repeatedly for six weeks. In April 2010, having finally gotten the answer he wanted from Arnal, Taymor left for a formative five-month stint at La Chassagnette. Upon his return, Taymor worked at Bar Tartine and later helped open Plate Shop in Sausalito with Kim Alter. He also counts Chef Jeremy Fox as a mentor. In 2012, Taymor opened Alma, complete with exclusive garden. It’s an 8-table example of how to inject genuine excitement into a jaded city and earned Taymor a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award.