A NOTE FROM THE TEAM
Hailing from both the OC and NYC, Taylor Mckinney found his inspiration within the creative diversity experienced on both coasts. “Growing up bicoastal, I gained a passionate respect for hospitality and the food & beverage industries that defined each city." While completing his Bachelors Degree at CSUF, Taylor learned that operations in food and beverage was his calling. He quickly grew and excelled at perfecting his craft, progressing from his first experience as a host and dishwasher at Marie Calendars to working for powerhouse companies such as Group Le Duff, Pacific Hospitality Group, and Balboa Bay Club + Resort. Upon leaving A&O Kitchen+Bar within Balboa Bay Resort, Taylor knew it was time to create his own vision with a team that shared the same. Taylor not only takes great pride in developing concepts, but also in building wonderful teams that truly make a concept what it is or what it can be. His most recent success has been Central in Laguna Beach, a modern take on American new fusion cuisine in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach. Central Hospitality Group is truly redefining what exciting, delicious , and timeless concepts are are all about.
"Moral of the story is you get one life, so do it all.”
Restaurateur Anna Montoya got her start at 19 years old when she opened her first restaurant Inkas Restaurant in Irvine in early 2000.
As an avid traveler her passion for culture, language and food did not reach fruition until she applied for the International Abroad Studies at Brigham Young University where she continued her studies in the exciting South Kensington district of London.
During her many travels, she explored the diverse flavors and ingredients each country brings to their native cuisines. It is at that moment that Anna realized that she did not just want to cook food, she wanted to bring that same experience, and share them to friends and family back home. Having grown up in Orange County she fell in love with Laguna Beach at a very young age. When she moved there in 2010 she along with her partners could think of no better place to open their second location than in Laguna Beach. The picturesque town was to be the cornerstone of their new concept and eventually the headquarters for the Central Hospitality Group.
Michael brings a variety of cooking techniques and flavors to Central with over 20 years experience in the industry A Graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Charleston South Carolina, Chef has roots in lowcountry cuisine that peer through at time on his menus. Working for Pacific Northwest purist Cory Schreiber at the acclaimed Wildwood Restaurant in Portland Oregon in early 2000 he gained an appreciation for ingredients in their purist form, a guiding principle he continues to live by. Having the opportunity to study abroad he cooked in the kitchens of Robert Brunel in Avignon, France- Restaurant Brunel and Numero 75. Being lured to the culinary explosion happening in Barcelona, Campbell was able to secure a position as a fish cook at Arrel del Born. Catalan cuisine made a delable impact on Chef as the flavors of Spain are quite present on his menus. Returning to the States he worked at Blue Hill and Hearth in New York City continuing to hone his craft by paying homage to the simplicity of ingredients. After obtaining a position at Chef Michael Mina’s newly opened RN74, Campbell worked his way to Executive Sous Chef with this prestigious restaurant group giving him the opportunity to run an excited group of professionals and fine tune his cuisine. Moving to Southern California in 2014 to open Pueblo in Costa Mesa, Chef was able to work in yet again an ingredient-driven community cooking Spanish Cuisine. Most recently he presided over the Loft at the Montage in Laguna Beach and gained a feel for our health conscious demographic. It comes natural just focusing on the simplicity of the beautiful produce we have access to year round down here. Excited to join the team at Central, Chef offers a seafood driven menu with an eclectic cuisine designed to give our guests familiar flavors approached in a unique way.