It didn’t take long for Robert Bell and Noah Gott to bond over their shared passion for food.
“Noah’s background was exactly what we were looking for in a chef de cuisine,” says Robert Bell, executive chef at Pacific Standard Prime. “His familiarity with meat preparation at several notable restaurant concepts was the first thing that stood out.”
After moving Noah’s resume to the top of the list, Robert texted him to set up a meeting. An immediate response came back. And the meeting went even better.
“Everything I was looking for – leadership, passion and enthusiasm – I found in Noah,” Robert says. “You can’t put a price on that level of enthusiasm.”
And there was one other selling point for the veteran behind so many successful restaurant concepts, including Chez Melange. “I was also looking for someone who could teach me some new techniques,” Robert says, in the true spirit of a lifelong learner. “Together, Noah and I are stronger than we’d be by ouselves.”
Noah joined Pacific Standard Prime in July, working alongside Robert to prepare for the upcoming opening. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime to cook within the community where I grew up,” Noah says. “Giving people enjoyment through food is one of the reaons this is my dream job.”
As one of seven children in his family, Noah discovered joy in creating meals out of what he found in the family kitchen. As a proud alum of local schools – Riviera, Richardson, and South High – Noah’s own three children are following in his footsteps at the same schools. And he lives so close by that he plans to bike to work.
In fact, biking and hiking are other interests that unite these two men. Robert talks about offroad biking in Lunada Bay through a patch of fennel plants. “I came home with pollen all over, smelling like Italian sausage, and experiencing pure joy,” he recalls.
Being outdoors is a way to connect with many of the ingredients that go into great food. “There’s nothing quite like a long hike, taking in the sights and smells of the many fruit trees and veggies that can be found in the neighborhood,” Noah says. Recently he came across a couple of apple trees, and he and his kids whipped up an apple pie together.
So what are Robert and Noah cooking up for Pacific Standard Prime?
For starters, there will be a range of mouth-watering prime beef offerings on the soon-to-be unveiled dinner menu. These will be joined by an array of salads, sides, and non-meat options. And they’re putting together an eclectic mix for brunch, with items you don’t typically see on a brunch menu as well as the classics.
In addition, their creations will be seasonally driven, reflecting ingredients that are at the height of their prime. One way to think about it is similar to a trip to the grocery store. “When produce at the market is at its least expensive,” Robert says, “that means it’s at its freshest and best.”
This dovetails into the vision to incorporate natural and organic products at the table. “We know so much more about food today, and how fresh and organic ingredients are better for us,” says Kevin Leach, founder of Pacific Standard Prime. “Robert and Noah make the perfect team to bring this to life.”
Together, they view food as a way to nurture people. And beyond great food, it’s also about the feeling that Kevin, Robert and Noah want people to have as they start a new tradition with Pacific Standard Prime.
“From the moment people walk through our front door,” Robert says, “our intention is for them to feel comfortable, at ease, and well taken care of.”
“In an atmosphere of warmth, we want everyone to feel like they’re having too much fun with us, that they want to stay and hang out, and that they don’t want to leave,” he continues.
“But most of all,” Robert says, “we want people to say, ‘God, the food was good!’”