Prestigious chef added to Taylor Golf menu
Chef Robert Young has come a long way, both literally and figuratively, since he started washing dishes in a British hotel as a 14-year-old teenager. After a storied career at some of the Midwest’s best eateries, he was hired as the Taylor Golf’s head chef, and is in charge of all food operations for both the Lakes of Taylor and Taylor Meadows golf courses.
The 42-year-old brings with him an impressive resume. He served as executive chef/general manager at the Jolly Pumpkin in Chicago, and as executive chef at Bastone in Royal Oak and the Redwood Lodge in Flint – all locations known for their outstanding food and service.
“Robert brings plenty of experience to the Lakes of Taylor,” Mayor Rick Sollars said. “We want to be a destination-point eatery in the region, and someone with his resume can take us there. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re committed to improving the food and the facility. We have a tremendous golf course at Lakes – and another one at Meadows. We want the food to match.”
Chef Young was educated in the City and Guilds of London Qualification in Culinary Arts, Coleg Powys Department, in Powys, U.K., before completing an apprenticeship at the Castle of Brecon, in Brecon, Powys. There, he learned classic sauces and cooking methods under European chefs.
Eventually, he took a job as a chef tournant at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, one of the most beautiful, and elegant, destination spots in Michigan.
“I wanted to cook myself around the world,” he says now. The most important thing he learned along the way was, “To keep your mouth shut, and your eyes open,” he laughed.
He credits the first head chef that he worked under, Lee Havard, as a leading influence in his own cooking style. That style also includes heavy portions of his own personal preferences along with influences from an international group of peers that he’s worked with over the years.
Chef Young is amidst revising the menu at the Lakes of Taylor’s Lake House Grille and Taylor Meadows’ Greenside Grille. “A good menu is a balance, a cross-utilization, using seasonal, familiar and local items when possible,” he said.
To that point, he’s growing his own garden on the grounds of the Lakes of Taylor, something we’re sure that world-renowned golf architect Arthur Hills probably didn’t have in mind when he created the course. “I’m growing some herbs, basil, thyme, mint, oregano and rosemary,” he said. “I think people using the course can see that we are making an effort to improve … and having your own garden saves a few dollars, too.”
While Chef Young admits that there is an adjustment, coming from privately owned and operated restaurants to a municipally owned bar and grille at a public golf course, he also recognizes how “lucky” people are to have a facility like the Lakes of Taylor in their community. “People are very fortunate to have something like this here,” he said. “This is a private golf course setting that usually costs members tens of thousands of dollars in fees. Here, you walk in for free and receive many of the same types of amenities.”
If you are asking for suggestions when ordering, take it right from Chef Young and try the Prime Ciabatta, Lobster Club, Grilled Strip Loin or the Fish Tacos – all personal favorites. For the younger set (12 and under), there is a $4 Kids Menu featuring burgers, salads, macaroni and cheese, kids’ pasta or chicken fingers.
The world traveler from humble beginnings is now on a mission when it comes to Taylor Golf: “We want to become a cornerstone of the community when it comes to our food offerings,” he said. “Because we are making changes, we really want to improve. We want to be recognized for our ability to do all sales and price ranges for all types of small and large functions.”
The City of Taylor welcomes you and your family and friends to stop by the Lakes of Taylor Lake House Grille and Taylor Meadows Greenside Grille. Chef Young’s fresh offerings make our restaurants a top-flight destination point when it comes to quality food and service.