Chef Matt Taylor Leaves Noca

Categories: Buchanan, News

matttaylor-thumb-revised.jpg
Where's Matt Taylor?
Chow Bella has confirmed that the chef at one of the most popular restaurants in town is suddenly gone for good -- and during Restaurant Week. Awkward.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the rumor leaked that chef Matt Taylor was no longer at Noca. I called Taylor on his cell and left a message. No answer. I called Noca's owner Eliot Wexler. No answer. By Thursday afternoon, the rumor had spread. I received another phone call. Did I know Matt Taylor had left? Yes! I did! But no one was talking.

At 9 or so last night, I walked into Noca, where Restaurant Week revelers were still in full swing. Sure enough, Taylor wasn't there, but Wexler was. He confirmed that Taylor was gone for good but would not comment further "out of respect for Matt," he explained. He added that when I talked to Taylor, he would go on the record. And there's the rub. Taylor's gone but not talking.

Chow Bella will keep you posted on developments.


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Location Info

Noca

3118 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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26 comments
Andy Abingtön
Andy Abingtön

SOOOO upsetting.  I loved his menu items...  :/

Andy Abingtön
Andy Abingtön

AWW MAN!  This is sooooo upsetting.  I love that place :/

Anon
Anon

This isn't all that surprising.  When you have an owner that just rips off concepts from SF restaurants (see Nopa) and calls them his own.  Obviously an egomaniac that doesn't want to hear a chef's voice if it veers from his said stolen ideas.

Ficklefoodie
Ficklefoodie

 I was just looking for a nice local pub, and I come across this...You people in this town are so fickle it makes me sick!!! But I agree with you Hot4chefmt....A good looking dude.

Wonderbread1976
Wonderbread1976

Yes knew that.. And Claudio Carrillo is the new chef!

One who knows food
One who knows food

He's a smart man!  An over rated place to begin with.  He figured it out and was unhappy when he did.  The Kevin C. was a bum and he knew it so he took a simple job to hide his no good talent and no passion in cooking, but took the money.  Go figure.  It's amazing you see very few CIA grads out here. 

guest
guest

It's "Eliot," not "Elliot."

Hot4chefmt
Hot4chefmt

Could have at least updated Matty's photo....He's way more handsome now... Not that he wasn't back then......Just saying though....

Pete
Pete

WTF is wrong with that place?  It seems pleasant enough and the food has been good under both prior chefs.

RealityGuru81
RealityGuru81

I don't know what everyone is so worked up about? The food scene around Phoenix has obviously been dead since before the economy took a dump! Think about it. Where did all the chefs' with credible pedigrees go? New York? Las Vegas? San Francisco? What has been realistically excellent food since Mary Elaine's, Golden Swan, Vu, and Hapa amongst a few others? There is nothing but disappointing experiences with "townie" experienced "chefs" who only know how to pull the wool over their patrons eyes.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

P.S. I noticed that Charleen Badman's been cooking a lot of local, organic vegetables and helping out with school lunch programs.  Better alert Alice Waters.

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

You again?

"nopa is a San Francisco gathering place north of the Panhandle, serving urban rustic food and specializing in organic wood-fired cuisine.  We serve simple food created with seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors."

Exactly.  Because when I think of Noca, "rustic," "wood-fired," the heavy use of "local" Arizona seafood and the fact that their "organic" bona fides are plastered all over their website and menu are *precisely* what spring to mind.

Gads, what an odd obsession this is.  So fixated on the similarity in names that you're oblivious to how plainly different they are in every other way.

Noca isn't ripping off Nopa any more than it's ripping off Noka, Moca, Noda, Kona, Naha, Boca, Nono or Nola.  Or if it is, it's doing a pretty lousy job of it, given how dissimilar they are.

Weird.

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

yes, thanks -- we had a typo in the url. but the post should be correct. sorry!

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

if he'd calls back, we promise to ask him for a new photo.

Kate
Kate

 I'd do him.......

Yep
Yep

In case you need help updating your spreadsheet:

Golden Swan/Vu's CdC is in San Diego. Hapa chef/owner is running a catering business on Lawnguyland. 
Only the CdC of Mary Elaine's is working in one of the cities you mention.

Anon
Anon

While it's by panhandle, it's for North of Page.  And Noca opened shortly after Nopa.  And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas (or copycat).  New times even covered an interview with Weasle when he hired Taylor and guess where he said they were going for a weekend trip for menu ideas, SF.
Since apparently you can only read their website, I take it you've not been to Nopa nor probably SF and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel worship.Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca.You've been p owned.  But mostly I'd like you to actually go to the restaurant instead of reading a menu before you shoot off your uneducated mouth.  They also have similar interiors which you would know if you ever traveled.

DoomsdayPrepper27
DoomsdayPrepper27

 Your're absolutely right!. "Reality Guru 81" should have better worded their post. William Bradley is in Del Mar, CA. Brian Lewis is in New Canaan, CT. Bradford Thompson is in NY,NY. And etc....I think you're missing the point "Yep".  Regardless to where these chefs are now. Phoenix is a dead scence. That's great if people want to dine out in flip-flops and shorts. That's wonderful. There are plenty of places for that. The Yard House, Ra, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Beckett's Table, and etc...Wake up and smell the truth. You can't polish a turd!  When you truly understand what good food and good restaurants are about then you will realize that here in Phoenix the lack of alternatives answers this debate. What do you have to rely on in the middle of a desert? Over-priced produce grown in a desert. Why?! Olives from Queen Creek? Give me a break? The so-called "Farmer's Markets" here with local chefs acting like Pentacostal preachers? The ANNOYING term "Farm to Table"? What does that even mean? Are there chickens, and plows, and dirty farmers running the restaurant? Go to rural France for 2 weeks and just observe. Or the middle of Wisconsin. I know it's a trend like comfort food was. But in other places it's a way of business and livelihood. Not something to hide behind. Not something to hide behind because it only disquises one's inability to cook. Yeah those beautiful carrots, squash blossoms, or tomatoes are probably nice to begin with, but what good are they if you ruin them. Ruin them by having the obvious inability to prepare them. Which brings this whole debate full circle. Like I said, this town's credibility and status is dying if not already. Hear me know, belive me later. When the music's over turn out the lights!

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"You've been p owned."

Apparently,nI'm also trading comments with a twelve-year-old.

"And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas..."

I know. What a jerk.  Visiting restaurants in other cities to learn more
about food.  Personally, I think all chefs and restaurant owners should
live in sequestration so we can be sure they never get any ideas from anywhere else and everything they serve is 100% their own.  Oh... books too.  Better make sure they can't read any.

"Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca."

I think you just described half the restaurants in San Francisco. Heeeeeeeey, you might be onto something here.  They're ALL ripping off Nopa!!!

"They also have similar interiors..."

All that natural wood, huge windows, 40 foot bar, exposed wooden ceiling, kitschy murals, faux-vintage light fixtures, large planters... yup.  Looks
*exactly* like Noca.

http://sanfranciscoweddingvenu...

Or did you mean that they have tables and an open kitchen?  You're right... the idea to eat on tables and have an open kitchen must have been stolen from Nopa.

"I take it you've not been to Nopa ... mostly I'd like you to actually go to the restaurant instead of reading a menu before you shoot off your uneducated mouth."

It's true, I haven't been to Nopa.  Or Shalimar (sadly).  You know what?
 Noca could be ripping off Shalimar, too!  I mean, there's no way I
could possibly see the differences in their style from looking at the menu,
right?

"...and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel..."

Nope, that's not why I'm pissy with you.  I'm not an Arizona native.  Only been here a couple of years (from Chicago).  I'm pissy with you because you're an anonymous internet troll who apparently thinks that Nopa in San Francisco invented local ingredients cooked over a wood fire.  FWIW, I have been to San Francisco -- about a dozen times over the past 3-4 years and more before that, though I haven't gotten around to eat nearly as much as I would have liked -- and a whole bunch of other places, too.  Odds are I've probably traveled and eaten in a lot more cities than you, but I couldn't say for certain, because unlike my comments, yours say "Anon" at the top.  So
if you're going to continue to sling insults and accusations every time somebody dares to write something about Noca, how about you grow up, quit being a coward, and put your name behind your words?

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"You've been p owned."

Apparently, I'm also trading comments with a twelve-year-old.

"And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas..."

I know. What a jerk.  Visiting restaurants in other cities to learn more
about food.  Personally, I think all chefs and restaurant owners should
live in sequestration so we can be sure they never get any ideas from anywhere else and everything they serve is 100% their own.  Oh... books too. Better make sure they can't read anything.

"Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca."

I think you just described half the restaurants in San Francisco.  Heeeeeeeey, you might be onto something here.  They're ALL ripping off Nopa!!!

"They also have similar interiors..."

All that natural wood, huge windows, 40 foot bar, exposed wooden ceiling, kitschy murals, faux-vintage light fixtures, large planters... yup.  Looks
*exactly* like Noca.

http://sanfranciscoweddingvenu...  

Or did you mean that they have tables and an open kitchen?  You're right... the idea to eat on tables and have an open kitchen must have been stolen from Nopa.

"I take it you've not been to Nopa ... mostly I'd like you to actually go to the restaurant instead of reading a menu before you shoot off your uneducated mouth."

It's true, I haven't been to Nopa.  Or Shalimar (sadly).  You know what?
 Noca could be ripping off Shalimar, too!  I mean, there's no way I
could possibly see the differences in their style from looking at the menu,
right?  

"...and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel..."

Nope, that's not why I'm pissy with you.  I'm not an Arizona native.  Only been here a couple of years (from Chicago).  I'm pissy with you because you're an anonymous internet troll who apparently thinks that Nopa in San Francisco invented local ingredients cooked over a wood fire.  FWIW, I have been to San Francisco -- about a dozen times over the past 3-4 years and more before that, though I haven't gotten around to eat nearly as much as I would have liked -- and a whole bunch of other places, too.  Odds are I've probably traveled and eaten in a lot more cities than you, but I couldn't say for certain, because unlike my comments, yours say "Anon" at the top.  So
if you're going to continue to sling insults and accusations every time somebody dares to write something about Noca, how about you grow up, quit being a coward, and put your name behind your words?

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"You've been p owned."
Apparently, I'm also trading comments with a twelve-year-old.

"And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas..."

I know.  What a jerk.  Visiting restaurants in other cities to learn more about food.  Personally, I think all chefs and restaurant owners should live in sequestration so we can be sure they never get any ideas from anywhere else and everything they serve is 100% their own.  Oh... books too.  Better make sure they can't read any.

"Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca."

I think you just described half the restaurants in San Francisco.  Heeeeeeeey, you might be onto something here.  They're ALL ripping off Nopa!!!

"They also have similar interiors..."

All that natural wood, huge windows, 40 foot bar, exposed wooden ceiling, kitschy murals, faux-vintage light fixtures, large planters... yup.  Looks *exactly* like Noca.

http://sanfranciscoweddingvenu... 

Or did you mean that they have tables and an open kitchen?  You're right... the idea to eat on tables and have an open kitchen must have been stolen from Nopa.

"I take it you've not been to Nopa ... mostly I'd like you to actually go to the restaurant instead of reading a menu before you shoot off your uneducated mouth."

It's true, I haven't been to Nopa.  Or Shalimar (sadly).  You know what?  Noca could be ripping off Shalimar, too!  I mean, there's no way I could possibly see the differences in their style from looking at the menu, right?  

"...and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel..."

Nope, that's not why I'm pissy with you.  I'm not an Arizona native.  Only been here a couple of years (from Chicago).  I'm pissy with you because you're an anonymous internet troll who apparently thinks that Nopa in San Francisco invented local ingredients cooked over a wood fire.  FWIW, I have been to San Francisco -- about a dozen times over the past 3-4 years and more before that, though I haven't gotten around to eat nearly as much as I would have liked -- and a whole bunch of other places, too.  Odds are I've probably traveled and eaten in a lot more cities than you, but I couldn't say for certain, because unlike my comments, yours say "Anon" at the top.  So if you're going to continue to sling insults and accusations every time somebody dares to write something about Noca, how about you grow up, quit being a coward, and put your name behind your words?

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"You've been p owned."

Apparently, I'm also trading comments with a twelve-year-old.

"And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas..."

I know.  What a jerk.  Visiting restaurants in other cities to learn more about food.  Personally, I think all chefs and restaurant owners should live in sequestration so we can be sure they never get any ideas from anywhere else and everything they serve is 100% their own.  Oh... books too.  Better make sure they can't read any.

"Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca."

I think you just described half the restaurants in San Francisco.  Heeeeeeeey, you might be onto something here.  They're ALL ripping off Nopa!!!

"They also have similar interiors..."

All that natural wood, huge windows, 40 foot bar, exposed wooden ceiling, kitschy murals, faux-vintage light fixtures, large planters... yup.  Looks *exactly* like Noca.

http://sanfranciscoweddingvenu... 

Or did you mean that they have tables and an open kitchen?  You're right... the idea to eat on tables and have an open kitchen must have been stolen from Nopa.

"I take it you've not been to Nopa ... mostly I'd like you to actually go to the restaurant instead of reading a menu before you shoot off your uneducated mouth."

It's true, I haven't been to Nopa.  Or Shalimar (sadly).  You know what?  Noca could be ripping off Shalimar, too!  I mean, there's no way I could possibly see the differences in their style from looking at the menu, right?  

"...and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel..."

Nope, that's not why I'm pissy with you.  I'm not an Arizona native.  Only been here a couple of years (from Chicago).  I'm pissy with you because you're an anonymous internet troll who apparently thinks that Nopa in San Francisco invented local ingredients cooked over a wood fire.  FWIW, I have been to San Francisco -- about a dozen times over the past 3-4 years and more before that, though I haven't gotten around to eat nearly as much as I would have liked -- and a whole bunch of other places, too.  Odds are I've probably traveled and eaten in a lot more cities than you, but I couldn't say for certain, because unlike my comments, yours say "Anon" at the top.  So if you're going to continue to sling insults and accusations every time somebody dares to write something about Noca, how about you grow up, quit being a coward, and put your name behind your words?

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

"You've been p owned"

I'm also, apparently, trading comments with a twelve-year-old.

"And Eliot fully admits to going to SF to get ideas..."

I know. God forbid a restaurant owner travel and try restaurants in other cities to learn about food, huh? I'm with you. They should all be shut away when they decide to get into the restaurant business so we can be absolutely sure that they haven't been influenced by anything they've eaten.

"Wood fired you say, oh weight, Noca has the rotisserie, just like Nopa.  Oh locavore, oh wait they have all kinds of local veggies at Noca."

I think you just described half the restaurants in San Francisco.... *wait*... you're really onto something here. Nopa's being ripped off by *everybody*!

"They also have similar interiors which you would know if you ever traveled."

Yup. All that natural wood. Kitschy murals. Soaring windows. 40 foot bar. Looks just like Noca:

http://sanfranciscoweddingvenu...

Or were you referring to the fact that it has tables and an open kitchen? Yup... the idea to eat on tables and have an open kitchen must've come from Nopa.

"I take it you've not been to Nopa nor probably SF and that is why you are so pissy with me knocking an average Phx place that natives of AZ who don't travel worship."

No, I haven't eaten at Nopa.  I also haven't been to Shalimar (sadly). Come to think of it, maybe Noca is ripping off Shalimar, too! There's no *WAY* I could tell from looking at the menu!

FYI, I'm not pissy with you because I'm an Arizona native.  I've only been here a couple of years (from Chicago). I'm pissy with you because you're an anonymous internet troll who's apparently under the impression that Nopa invented cooking locally-sourced food over wood fire. And yes, I have traveled to San Francisco. And a whole lot of other places, actually.  Probably more than you, but I couldn't say that for certain, because unlike mine, your comments are anonymous.  So if you're going to sling accusations and insults, how about you grow up, quit being a coward, and put your name behind your words?

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