For this edition of Chef’s Corner, we caught up with Norman Taylor.
In his role as executive chef at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds (the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals), Taylor oversees Delaware North Sportservice’s food and beverage operation at the state-of-the-art ballpark. Prior to being promoted to his current role, Taylor – a Delaware North veteran of 16 years – had served as concessions chef at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. During his career, he has been a part of several major events for the company and has led culinary operations for Delaware North Sportservice at the Little League World Series.
Corporate Communications: In one sentence, describe yourself.
Norman Taylor: A hard-working taskmaster – trying to perfect my skills and teach those behind me, much like those before me taught me.
CC: In five words or less, describe your food.
NT: Regional with an Ohio spin.
CC: Who was your biggest cooking influence?
NT: Ricky Abrams – not the executive vice president and COO, Rick Abramson, even though those two were mixed up a lot when Ricky still worked with us – and Jenny Sweeney. Ricky hired me back at Dayton Baseball and taught me the basics. Jenny, who is still at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, helped me the most with my first chef position at the Wright State University Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.
CC: Fill in the blank. If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…
NT: Still running a printing press. I worked as an offset printing press operator before joining Delaware North part time.
CC: But…since you are a chef…what has been your favorite moment in a Delaware North kitchen?
NT: It wasn't in one of our kitchens but it was with our chefs. It was at The Chef Summit we had in 2004 at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. To have all those chefs learning and cooking together…it was a great time.
PHOTO CAPTION: Norman Taylor strikes a pose with the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series Champions trophy in 2011.