Paul Carmichael is from Barbados, where his first professional kitchen experience was at Sandy Lane Hotel.
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America, Paul cooked in leading New York kitchens including Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50, Restaurant Aquavit, Asiate inside the 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and The Tasting Room, before working as Executive Chef at Perla seafood restaurant in the Concha Hotel in Puerto Rico.
He returned to New York City in 2010 to join David Chang’s team at má pêche, first as Sous Chef then, a year later, as Executive Chef for 4 years. During this time, he was a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards for “Best Chef NYC” in 2014 and 2015 and was nominated for Food & Wine Magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef” 2014.
In 2015, Paul moved to Sydney to take over from Ben Greeno as Executive Chef of momofuku seiōbo, where he’s discovered a whole new world of Australian produce to combine with touches of his Caribbean heritage.
Rarely has the food world seen such excitement as when star chef-restaurateur, David Chang, announced he’d be opening his first restaurant outside New York City at Sydney’s The Star casino in late 2011. Since then there’ve been openings in Toronto, but momofuku seiōbo remains the only one of his 11 restaurants outside North America.
Momofuku means ‘lucky peach’ in Korean and seiōbo is the Japanese goddess of the west, whose sign is the peach tree. Of Korean descent, Chang has blended traditional Asian with modern influences to create a unique approach to food and dining that New York City, and now Sydney and Toronto, have gone wild for. His love of noodles, slow-cooked meats, chilli and shared dishes are hallmarks, along with eclectic playlists, casual but polished service, custom-made ceramics and knives and a passion for the best local produce.
At seiōbo, Chang has broken down the barriers between the kitchen and the diner, involving guests in the process much more than other restaurants do. Seiōbo seats 30-40 people for a 13-course degustation menu, about half of them at the counter that wraps around the open kitchen. For those lucky enough to be perched on the high stools, dinner is as much about the theatre of the kitchen as about the food. Chefs reach across the counter from the kitchen to place plates in front of diners – they have the immediate gratification of seeing their creations enjoyed and diners learn firsthand the amount of work that goes into every single plate.
Visit www.momofuku.com/sydney/seiobo for more information.
Paul is teaching at Sydney Seafood School on 6 July. View more details >