Aaron Taylor is the corporate chef of Atlas Restaurant Group, a Baltimore-based company with 27 restaurants, mostly in its hometown but also in Washington, D.C., and Houston. It’s also about to enter Philadelphia with its fourth location of Loch Bar, which Taylor calls a “seafood parlor” with a focus on whiskey and oysters.
It's an 11-year-old company that brothers Alex and Eric Smith started with Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina. Now the group also has Japanese restaurants, a French steakhouse, an Italian trattoria, a speakeasy, a cigar lounge, an array of seafood concepts, and more to come. All of them have some kind of entertainment, such as live music, which Taylor said is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Atlas restaurants.
The group also has a farm outside of Baltimore that provides some of the produce for its restaurants.
Taylor has been with the group for four years, after spending 2.5 years at restaurants in Chicago, and prior to that he was corporate chef of steakhouse chain STK for nearly eight years.
Apart from overseeing 19 chefs, Taylor also spends his time with the local public schools, encouraging young people to pursue careers in hospitality.
Taylor discussed the dynamics of the Baltimore market, his involvement in the community, and his plans for the group’s future.