Up Front and Personal
Destyn Taylor is a woman of many flavors! She has run the gamut of service industry jobs and we’re not talking low-end establishments. She bartended at Gramercy Tavern in NYC, served food at some Top Chef restaurants and has been a general manager in one of Mario Batali’s finest restaurants. Destyn is no stranger to what it takes to execute service at its most refined levels. She also knows how to have fun! Having done stand up comedy as well as acting in NYC, she personifies fearlessness; this has nonetheless attributed to her penchant for taking risks. But at her core, she is one of the most down to earth people you could know! This lady does it all. She is a mother of two small children, holds down two jobs, and is the recent proprietor of the best new gelato shop in town. But still, I wanted to know more about what drives Destyn to succeed!
You have worked for a number of great chefs, not to mention being married to one. How do you use what you’ve learned to expand your quality of service?
Well, working for great chefs who have a lot of passion for what they do helps to translate that to the guests. By expressing that kind of passion for food helps to make the guests excited and really feel like they’re receiving the greatest dining experience possible.
You’ve been the general manager of some pretty high caliber restaurants in Las Vegas. How does that affect your perspective with regard to serving and how do you use it to your advantage?
Actually, going from being a GM to a server is definitely a big relief because I know everything that goes into being a manager and thus I can do better work. Knowing what the bigger picture is makes it easier for me, especially in terms of decisions that are made and making the guest experience great. I know how important working as a team is, and know what I can do to alleviate headaches. It is about really taking responsibility for the restaurant as a whole.
What’s your favorite component of guest service?
There’s an aspect to being a server that I love and it’s the instant gratification of creating an experience for the guests. I enjoy seeing it instantly reflected back on me, based on what I have done for them.
After living in multiple “foodie” cities and moving back to Vegas, how do you view this great city of ours?
Having lived in New York, San Diego, Seattle and Vegas, I think that what we have is unique. It gives us a definite advantage over the rest. We have the best of all worlds! We have great chefs, professional service staff and amazing beverage programs. We get to have all of these things and still live in an affordable city.
You’ve also recently partnered up with your husband, Chef Doug Taylor, on a new culinary venture. Can you tell me about that?
It’s called the Art of Flavors and we are really excited about it! We took over a semi-established gelato shop in the Midtown area of Vegas. My husband has been a pastry chef his entire career and I’ve done front of the house. We have spent our whole lifetime and spent countless hours in this industry, sacrificing our family, our marriage and ourselves for these really great companies. But we came to the decision that it was time to do something of our own and this was the city we wanted to do it in. What is great is that we’ve just converted all the flavors over to being 100% house-made. We use zero additives and no pre-made chemical bases that you find in many gelatos. We are trying to give all of our customers the purest, most unique and fullest flavors that they can find in Vegas.