When Taylor DeCosta was in culinary school at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, she was invited to audition to work as a personal chef for an unknown client. When she arrived for the interview, the person looking to hire was none other than Kobe Bryant.
“I was so nervous. I was, like, 25,” recalls DeCosta, now 32. “It was so surreal.”
She landed the job and went on to work for Bryant and his family for nearly a year. “It was really wonderful,” says DeCosta, who’s prevented by an NDA from going into further detail about working for the late basketball great. “It really started my love of custom cooking.”
DeCosta went on to serve as a private chef to other Southern California notables. Then, in 2016, she was planning her wedding and in need of extra work to pay for her bridal gown. A friend connected her with Newport Beach entrepreneur/philanthropists Alan and Twila True, who were looking for a chef to prepare and drop off healthy meals. It quickly became clear that DeCosta had the seed of a business that would cover the cost of her dress—and then some.
“The Trues just started telling their friends,” she says. “After a few more weeks, I had to hire my first employee.”
She and husband, Mike, launched Taylor Made Cuisine soon after. The company now has a full-time staff of 24 and recently expanded to a second prep facility in Irvine. After seeing steady growth for the first few years, business doubled overnight during the pandemic. Meals are delivered weekly to customers—among them professional athletes, stars like Christina Hendricks, Beverly Hills execs, and regular folks in Los Angeles and Orange County looking to eat well with ease. People can order three to seven days of meals per week, opting for one to three meals per day, plus snacks and desserts. The company accommodates a wide variety of special diets, from keto to low-FODMAP. Ingredients
are mostly organic, and meals, like a fried brown rice, are prepared simply but flavorfully, making them a more wholesome option than restaurant takeout.
Some customers are actively looking to lose weight. Others just want to be healthy but don’t want to have to think about what they should actually consume. “For the most part,” DeCosta says, “people don’t even know what they’re supposed to be eating.”
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