Gourmet cooking with Chef Dave Paul
Easing out of the predictable menu of most Jamaican cook-shops, Chef Dave Paul does more than the ordinary with its meals.
Nestled in the Hughenden plaza, on Molynes Road, St Andrew, you can find Chef Dave Paul: gourmet catering restaurant.
The owner, Dave Paul, who is originally from St Mary, noted that the location was close to his home in Kingston. He added that the area was quite convenient, being more busy at lunch hour. He expresses, “Growing up I never saw myself as a chef, but rather a foodie”, and as such he aims to add the finest twists to his dishes. As he brainstormed to create a name for his business, he realised his name stuck with his clients. “No matter what I do people always call me Chef Dave Paul, so I just worked with it”, he said.
Three years ago, he started doing meal preps for clients, such as private companies and business executives. He would normally go to his clients’ homes or business places, which he still does, and prepares their desired meals. What began out of a small service as a personal chef was later whipped into an entire menu of savoury dishes stirred to suit different palates.
Being trained earlier at a tertiary institution, he went overseas for work experience, and this has led to the chef’s gourmet style of cooking. His passion grew even more as he recognised the wide variety of meals that weren’t prepared locally and could well fit into the Jamaican style of cooking.
“Share sum a di niceness nuh”, Paul quoted one of his clients, as they begged him to share his delectable meals. His clients were a part of his ultimate decision to transition from a DJ, operating at weddings and parties, to a full-time chef. Now the business offers from their location meal preps, gourmet lunches, catering packages, pre-orders and delivery services whether it’s for an office event, wedding, baby shower or lunch meeting,
“Our menu has a wide range. From a plate of salmon, fish, finger food, seasoned fries, garlic bread, soups, lobster and even oxtail.” Meals that are pre-ordered can be customised to match the customer’s special diet or meal preference. Paul adds that since he incorporates such a variety of sides, persons are least likely to order the classic rice and peas. The daily menu at Chef Dave Paul is selected based on demands for certain meals.
However, Paul makes it clear that “we don’t expect to be doing the same meals all the while”. Curry coconut shrimp pasta, Appleton BBQ ribs, Red Stripe BBQ chicken, mango pineapple jerk chicken, herb roasted chicken and sweet chilli fried fish sided with optional sides of bammy, coconut rice, mashed potatoes or garlic bread put a fun twist to the daily lunch meals at reasonable rates.
Food was given a surprise as Paul happily invited us into the kitchen as he prepared for us the famed curry coconut shrimp pasta. Sizzling up a quick pot, Paul chefs up the appetising meal. Staff worker Noelie Powell easily details the dish. “The shrimp is first curried while adding a little onion powder, all-purpose, basil. The alfredo is later added to the pot and cooked al dente, combining a little white wine for a nice flavour, heavy cream, parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish.”
Paul explained that his business is labelled gourmet as, “He (I) create exotic meals, creating a fusion of the day-to-day ordinary meals and adding a little flair to it.” Catering at a number of private breakfast and brunch events, the business continues to grow in order to concoct more mouth-watering dishes for a wider audience. Recently, at the Pasta Supreme food festival, Paul noticed that his usual Friday special of BBQ pig’s tail fused into a lasagne was a crowd favourite among patrons at the event. This smoky treat grilled and sauced enticed more and more customers to dine at the restaurant.
Chef Dave Paul opens Monday to Saturdays, opening times vary for specific days. For more information, you can contact him by Whats app at (876) 433-5904, or by his Instagram page @chefdavepaul. You can also check his online page for the daily menu and see what other basic foods he keeps elevating and taking to another level.