Taylor Boudreaux is the executive chef at Napa Valle Grille in Westwood. Boudreaux helped open several Los Angeles restaurants including Mastro's Steakhouse before being recruited to work as the corporate executive chef of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide. At Napa Valley Grille, Boudreaux emphasizes the importance of locally grown produce and "tries to keep up with Mother Nature and what's in season."
What's coming up next on your menu? We will be featuring artichokes, fava beans, pea tendrils, asparagus, apricots and cherries. This is the time of year where it gets to be a lot of fun at the markets.
Latest ingredient obsession? Our house-made pasta. I love it. I love the texture, the flavor and how versatile it is. I'm working on a morel pasta dish that I think will be delicious.
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? When I can sneak out of the restaurant, I go over to 800 Degrees and get the picante pizza.
The last cookbook you read -- and what inspired you to pick it up? "The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook." My mother gave it to me for Christmas. It's a great jumping off place for me.
What chef has most influenced you? Charles Schwerd taught me how to run a kitchen. He had the mechanics down. Very methodical and very business-minded. I was then lucky that very late in my career I was hired by Wolfgang Puck to run his casual restaurants. As part of my training with him, I worked at Spago. It was an incredible experience. I learned an incredible amount from his chefs Sherry Yard, Matt Bencivenga and Tetsu Yahagi. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
1100 Glendon Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 824-3322, www.napavalleygrille.com.
-- Leah Rodrigues
Photo: Taylor Boudreaux. Credit: Napa Valley Grille.