Jordan Taylor, a Roosevelt High School graduate, moved out to the west coast to attend Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon in the early 2000s. He was inspired early on by Emeril and Martin Yan from PBS and after dipping his toes in the industry, he found some new mentors. Cory Schreiber and Terry Traunfeld were the first two chefs he worked for in the Pacific Northwest and they helped guide him in his culinary career.
The job that helped him develop his technical skills the most was at a place called Olea. It was very similar to “The Bear,” he recalls. The atmosphere was very rigid so you had to be on top of your game. It was also in the top 10 new restaurants of the country at the time, so the stakes were high.
Since moving back to Sioux Falls, Jordan has kept himself busy with a handful of businesses. He is the co-owner of not one, but three businesses here in town: Bread & Circus, Pizza Cheeks and En Place Catering. Bread & Circus was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in early 2021 where Guy Fieri tried the Vietnamese fried chicken sandwich and the roasted curry cauliflower.
Following the show, Jordan and business partner Barry Putzke started En Place Catering. Jordan says this new culinary venture is fun because it’s new. Not everything is the same and it’s an opportunity to switch things up. Taylor recently consulted for The Boat House Bar & Grill At Spring Creek in Pierre, South Dakota as well.
Q: Do you have a special philosophy or approach when it comes to cooking?
A: It may be different now from when I was younger but less is more. Like tonight I’m teaching a seafood class [at Plum’s Cooking Company] and all the money went into the seafood. Let the seafood shine, with some seasonal ingredients but mainly just solid technique with a lighter hand with a lot of the products.
Q: Which job gave you the most meaningful experience?
A: Fired from Taco Bell. Just kidding. Probably working for Cory Schreiber which was my second job. Very heavily farm to table. It was a formidable position to be in and learn that early on with little to no experience before hand.
Q: What dish inspires you most?
A: I’m always on the hunt for that.
Q: What are your favorite tools in the kitchen?
A: Spoons and knives, wooden spoons actually. I have a wooden spoon collection.
Q: Where is your favorite restaurant? (lt does not have to be local, it can be international)
A: That’s another tough one. Blackbird in Chicago was on my bucket list and I got to go. Sadly, it doesn’t exist anymore. The chef is still around but it closed after 2020.