New Noca chef Matt Taylor, the 27-year-old who's worked with four James Beard award winners and was previously at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas with celebrity chef Michael Mina, had his first dinner service on Sunday, heading up Noca's Southern Simple Supper.
"Matt [Taylor] brings a sense of refinement and finesse to Southern style cuisine," says Noca owner Eliot Wexler. "He's spent time with John Besh."
Wexler tells me he and Taylor, who replaced Chris Curtiss (Curtiss left in June and is now with Fox Restaurant Concepts as the executive chef at the new NoRTH in Central Phoenix) are continuing to refine the menu for September, working on a new bar menu, and that Taylor's already created his first "nocawich" sandwich called the "Boss Hogg."
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The Boss Hogg, Taylor's "nocawich" creation of pressed ham and deviled egg salad on rye, precedes a to-come bar bites menu from the new chef that Wexler tells me will be Noca-style twists on traditional bar food. Bar bites will be available at the chef's counter and bar, and Wexler hopes to have the menu ready by October.
"The staff is happy," Wexler says, "And they're responding well to him [Taylor]. They did a great job during the transition."