TASTING SPOON Our Biography

“I love it! I think Joe Youkhan is one of the best chefs in the world. His cooking has always left me feeling well-loved : ) “ – Reader ‘s Comment from OCMenus.com, Chef’s Secret Feature

“The personal touch he brings to each dining experience has been wonderful. I have taken my entire family there many times and everyone has enjoyed a fantastic meal and a memorable evening.” – Reader’s comment from OCMenus.com, Chef’s Secret Feature

“A lot of what I do is taking any ingredient and try to maximize its flavor and texture potential. So even if it’s ‘just’ mashed potatoes, you’ll eat it and say to yourself – WOW, those are the most insane mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten, how did you do that? I enjoy the simplicity of the final product; even though it may be a complicated process of butchering, brining, cold smoking, and finally grilled and glazed. Then you have my Signature Pork Chops. To my guests, they may appear like “just a pork chop” until they eat it and realize it’s the best pork chop they’ve ever eaten.” -Chef Joe Youkhan

There’s no doubt that the common theme in guest feedback is the ability to truly taste Chef Joe’s passion and love for food. His excitement began early on with his Nana’s home cooked family meals in New York. He grew up in a culinary environment. He cooked with his father, also a Chef, before moving to California at the age of 15.

Joe continued his personal interest in cooking with family and friends while pursuing professional interest in motorcycles for the next 7 years. Joe decided to make his hobby his profession. He went back to his roots, his natural instincts and began working at Saratoga Grill for the next 2 years. He then went to the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Over the next 3 years, Joe worked several positions at the different kitchens of the hotel. Joe left the Ritz-Carlton as the Executive Chef of the Special Events / Catering Division when he joined a restaurant group in Orange County, Ca. Chef Joe was the Executive Chef at Chat Noir in Costa Mesa for the next 4 years. He then became the Corporate Executive Chef responsible for multiple locations.

Chef Joe decided to work for himself and began his culinary company, Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon , in 2010. He offers catering at all events – weddings, board meetings and in home intimate dinner parties. Joe also runs his own gourmet food truck offering Italian comfort street food. Joe has conducted several personalized fun interactive cooking classes. Joe has done and is available for consulting with either new or existing restaurant concepts. Chef Joe has been exposed to a variety of cultures. He has learned Classic French techniques and worked with contemporary American menus. Chef Joe can customize your interest with his delicious taste to create an exciting memorable menu. You will be coming back for more.

Culinary Accomplishments:

  • Five Star Award Recipient at the Ritz Carlton ’04
  • Featured Chef in Best Chefs of Orange County ’05
  • Featured Chef in the Flavors of Orange County ’06
  • Featured Chef in the Flavors of Los Angeles ’07
  • Featured Chef in the Culinary Masters Event ’07
  • Received the Award of Excellence from the County of Orange Environment Health Division for maintaining exceptionally high food safety and sanitation standards throughout the year of 2008.
  • Featured Chef in Orange County Food & Wine Celebration ’10

Other Interesting Tidbits about Chef Joe:

  • Played the “biggest homeboy” in the Feature Film “Trojan War” with Jennifer Love-Hewitt in 1997
  • 2nd Degree Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Black belt in Eagle Claw Kung Fu
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ARTICLES Chef Joe in the news
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