Cover photo for Ana Elsa R. Taylor (Zamora)'s Obituary

Ana Elsa R. Taylor (Zamora)

August 1, 1967 — June 9, 2024

Ana Elsa R. Taylor (Zamora)

August 1, 1967 — June 9, 2024

Van Nuys

As a classically-trained chef, Ana Elsa Taylor experienced a wide and varied career in the food and restaurant business. Trained by the best at San Francisco’s prestigious California Culinary Academy, Ana Elsa was held to the highest standards of her profession which she continued to apply throughout her professional life.

Born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Hollywood, the daughter of Antonio and Elsa R. Zamora, Ana Elsa was welcomed by her brother who performed somersaults on the front lawn of his grandparents’ home upon learning of her entry into the world. Finally, after six years as an only child, he would have a lifelong companion.

Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Ana Elsa studied ballet, played the violin, swam competitively, and went on camping trips as a Girl Scout Brownie. Most of all, she made a lot of friends. A social butterfly in the best sense, Ana Elsa was a bundle of energy who could barely make it through dinner without getting up to practice her pirouettes. When she wasn’t dancing, swimming or camping, Ana Elsa was exploring museums, birdwatching in the Santa Monica Mountains, and visiting the Camera Obscura with her Dad who encouraged learning and the acquisition of knowledge from all possible sources and methods.

As a teenager, Ana Elsa would attend Corvallis High School and Chaminade High School where she would formulate plans for the future eventually leading to her enrollment in the California Culinary Academy. No doubt, Ana Elsa was influenced by her Mom, a pioneering gourmet in her own right who organized a group of friends who were fellow gourmands. Her Mom’s “Gourmet Club” met for monthly gatherings which featured a culinary creation by each participant on a rotating basis. Undoubtedly, the warmth, friendship, and joy that flowed from these gatherings was something that Ana Elsa drew upon to make her career decision, despite all of its many challenges.

While acquiring her degree at the CCA, Ana Elsa’s brother was a frequent visitor, driving up to the Bay Area in Mom’s old Toyota pick-up each time. These trips and the experiences that ensued provided a lifetime of memories for them both.

Upon graduating from the CCA, Ana Elsa embarked on a career that ranged from the fanciest of restaurants to the largest institutions, including UCLA Hospital and Universal Studios. Perhaps her most notable gig was the House of Blues, a restaurant and concert venue on the Sunset Strip. While there, Ana Elsa was in her element, a crazy mash-up of gourmet cuisine and her second love, music. She took pride in the fact that House of Blues’ owner, Dan Ackroyd, would request a plate of her gnocchi when he visited the Foundation Room, the venue’s private club. 

While at the House of Blues, Ana Elsa got her brother into some great concerts. One night, after a concert by Echo and the Bunnymen, Ana Elsa invited her brother and sister-in-law into the Foundation Room where Ana Elsa and lead singer Ian McCulloch discussed their mutual regard for the music of Nina Simone.

Moving to Washington state after her divorce, Ana Elsa began the next leg of her career at Whole Foods’ flagship store in Seattle. She welcomed the stability of regular hours after the relentless pace and schedule of the restaurant business which runs night and day and recognizes no holiday. Overall, she would spend 13 years at Whole Foods where she mastered the complexities of an expansive food operation which ranged from prepared meals and gourmet foods to quick take-out orders. Ultimately, Ana Elsa was promoted to team educator where she drew on the depth of her experience in the food industry to guide others.

Seattle was the place for another big change in Ana Elsa’s life when she met Ryan Taylor, a colleague at Whole Foods. Ryan would become the love of her life. Their first date was an event at KEXP, Seattle’s legendary and pioneering public radio station where Ana Elsa volunteered on her days off. Among many other things, Ana Elsa and Ryan bonded over their love of music.

Ana Elsa developed her love of music at a young age. Her brother would like to think he had a small role in this as she was constantly subjected to his stereo blasting the latest album featured by Dr. Demento. But Ana Elsa took her interest in music to another level, developing a real expertise that she deployed as the host of a radio program on KUCI, a public radio station affiliated with UC Irvine. Using the moniker, “Superkitty”, Ana Elsa hosted “Sonic Menagerie,” a program that featured an eclectic mix of music and commentary. Everybody who loved Ana Elsa was so proud of her show which inspired, educated and amused. Later, Ana Elsa would enjoy exchanging views with Jonesy, a punk rock legend who hosted Ana Elsa’s favorite radio program, “Jonesy’s Jukebox”.

One day, while still in Seattle, Ana Elsa informed her family that she was to be married to one Ryan Taylor at the top of Seattle’s Space Needle on her Dad’s birthday, no less. Her family did not know what to expect. In reality, they had nothing to worry about. Ryan has been a blessing who surrounded Ana Elsa with unconditional love, patience, and understanding. Ana Elsa’s family, now his family, will be eternally grateful for the love that Ryan brought to their lives. Together, Ana Elsa and Ryan provided daily companionship for Ana Elsa’s Mom who lives across the street in her home of fifty years.

There are so many other things to say about Ana Elsa because she was always on the move. As a kid, she ditched school to get Billy Idol’s autograph on an album cover. On another day, she decided to dye her hair pitch-black without anybody’s permission. At 14, she drove cross-country with her brother and future sister-in-law, Nancy, after attending their graduation from college and stopping for a few days in Illinois to appreciate Nancy’s family farm. Months later, she would stand as a bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding to Nancy, Ana Elsa’s newly-acquired sister-for-life.

As an adult, she worked as an executive assistant to a CEO, campaigned for political candidates, attended a presidential inauguration, filled in at her brother and sister’s law firm, volunteered at a charity supporting troops in the field, completed a triathlon, hiked Yosemite, vacationed at Joshua Tree, and picnicked at the Hollywood Bowl while singing along to the Sound of Music. She wrote poetry. She even has a credit on IMDB for craft services.

Ana Elsa never gave-up in the navigation of life’s strongest currents. Until the end, she fought the good fight. And now, Ana Elsa is at peace. She will be missed.

Ana Elsa is survived by her spouse Ryan Taylor, her mother Elsa R. Zamora, and her brother Anthony N. R. Zamora (Nancy). She was pre-deceased by her father Antonio R. Zamora.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service of Elsa Taylor

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Pacific time)

Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills - Faith Chapel

6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068

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