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Born in Nottingham, David Taylor's career in food started young - he was part of a generation that was inspired by the youthful energy of Jamie Oliver, and as young as 13 he was baking and cooking for family and friends. A chance meeting with Ready Steady Cook chef Brian Turner opened the door for David to visit Turner's in Knightsbridge at an early age, and after spending a day in the kitchens with Turner, his heart was set on a career as a chef.
That career in earnest started in the deepest of deep ends - at Gordon Ramsay's Maze with Jason Atherton, just as Atherton's star was rising. With 30 full time chefs and nearly 200 covers to serve, Maze was a tough kitchen, but one that forged Taylor in fire. 'It gave me a grounding that has helped me get where I am now,' says Taylor. Atherton also opened the door for David to move to Purnell's - Atherton and Glynn Purnell appeared on Great British Menu together, and a phone call from the former got David a job with the latter. David would spend the next seven years with Purnell. 'Glynn was a huge influence on me,’ he says. ‘He really breathed a sense of confidence into me and nurtured me.’
David has worked short stints in lots of other top restaurants - after Purnell's he left in search of a finishing school and cooked at restaurants like Grace in Chicago, Atera in New York, and Relae in Copenhagen. Eventually he landed at Maaemo in Oslo and joined an all-star cast of chefs that included Oli Marlow (now executive chef of Aulis and Roganic Hong Kong), Jordan Bailey (chef and owner of two Michelin-starred Aimsir in Kildare, Ireland), Alex Nietosvuori (head chef of Michelin-starred Hjem in Northumberland) and James Goodyear (head chef of Evelyn’s Table, London). In two years at Maaemo, David was part of the team that won a third Michelin star for the restaurant, making it the first Nordic restaurant to reach the prestigious landmark (jointly with Geranium, which also won a third star in the same year).
David would later move to The Thief - a boutique hotel in Oslo famous for housing celebrities and keeping them away from the public spotlight. Though he and wife Anette were happy in Oslo, long-time friend James Hill (director at Hampton Manor) sounded them out about taking over a new project at the West Midlands hotel and they jumped at the opportunity of a lifetime. David spent a year setting up a supply network for Grace & Savour that focused on organic, sustainable producers within the UK and the West Midlands, before opening in January 2022. The restaurant has proven to be an instant classic, winning a SquareMeal Gold Award as well as top spot in our Top 100 UK Restaurants list for 2023.