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To isolate the moment that food became a focal point in the life of Caroline Taylor would invite you to wander through a myriad of kitchens,
passing faces synonymous with quality cuisine and culinary excellence. You would find yourself perched at broad dining tables with a random assortment of guests; from Caroline’s own tribe of brothers, to the artists and artisans of the Swan Valley, the characters of the bush poetry yarns, and blow-ins from all corners of the globe.
As her mother, renowned artist Jude Taylor, whipped together meals at a moment’s notice for numbers she could only ever guess, as a child Caroline was immersed in a world where food brought people to the table to share stories, warmth and wisdom. This, perhaps, is where her story began – tangled in the wooden beams of her family-built home behind Taylor’s Art & Coffee House.
At just 22, Caroline had already travelled Australia and the UK, heavily involved in the polo scene. She was also a budding businesswoman, weaving her way through uncharted territory as a co-owner of Taylor’s Art & Coffee House.
She had a very clear vision – to showcase the passion, dedication and life behind locally farmed, seasonal produce. She wanted her menu to move her patrons through the seasons of the Valley.
Struggling to find a chef who could bring this vision to fruition, Caroline did something she is now renowned for – she networked. Entrenched in the belly of the food and wine region, with an open house to any guest who arrived, Caroline had already been introduced to the humble masters of great food and wine; the Lamont family. When she recognised her need for a mentor, Kate Lamont was at the helm of steering Caroline towards the realities of life as a chef. Under Kate’s expert tutelage, Caroline began an internship at the Lamont’s Margaret River venue. Kate was very generous with her time, guidance, and recipes. Caroline absorbed all of this, and returned to the Valley to take the reins as head chef and director of her cafe.
As her team expanded she discovered a new passion – harnessing talent as she did flavours, developing people as she developed recipes.
Breaking convention, she introduced standards in to her kitchen that were unheard of throughout the industry – emotional intelligence workshops, ruling out sarcasm, taking the time to build a cohesive team. Caroline continued to weave through the food scene in various forms, always looking to the best of the best for guidance and inspiration. Think names like Anna Gare and Maggie Beer. Seeing potential in every problem, Caroline’s tenacity and eye for opportunity has caught the attention of international chefs and business owners, allowing her insight in to all facets of the food industry. In 201?, Caroline left the strong and family-like culture she’d cultivated in the Taylor’s kitchen in the capable hands of her sous chef, and branded herself as an independent hospitality consultant and regional food promoter. Following some of the roads well traversed by her truck driving and scrap metal dealing bush poet father, Caroline’s work has spun her throughout Western Australia, lending her plethora of talents in various foodbased events showcasing WA’s abundant produce in Broome, Karratha, Margaret River and the Gascoyne.