Restaurant: Alma Location: Los Angeles Why He's Amazing: He's helped transform gritty downtown L.A., turning a pop-up into the city's most sought-after dining experience. His cooking is brilliantly creative: A trip to the beach might inspire a dish of steamed crab with the lightest imaginable sturgeon mousse and coastal greens. Quintessential Dish: Broken beets and apples, hazelnuts, malt and anise. Culinary School: Self-taught. Restaurant CV: Internship at La Chassagnette, Arles, France; Flour + Water, Bar Tartine, San Francisco; Plate Shop, Sausalito, CA. All-Time Favorite Cookbook: The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. "It's what cooking is all about: Stories about history and family, and how everyone fed each other. The stories Lewis and Peacock told one another—you get the sense of collective history, a passion for taking care of people. It's where I go when I feel jaded or burned out." Heroes: Chef Jeremy Fox, formerly of Ubuntu restaurant in Napa. Worthy Causes: Taymor and his business partner, Ashleigh Parsons, have launched an outreach program, building a garden in a nearby charter school and teaching the students there how to cook. Famous Surname: His aunt is the theatrical visionary Julie Taymor.
At Alma in West Hollywood, California, chef Ari Taymor cleverly combines morning oats with coffee. The result is a crunchy, sweet-savory mix that's perfect with yogurt or ice cream, or even just eaten by the handful.