Curnonsky once said, “In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”
No chef better exemplifies this then culinary great, Head Chef Paul Steele, the leader of Flourish Restaurant at CopperWynd resort, with over 24 years in the industry with dishes that scream in complexity while preserving the integrity of local, fresh ingredients.
Born and raised in El Paso, Chef Paul began his culinary career at the age of 16 as a dishwasher at a BBQ pit house in Texas. By 1999, he realized his natural talent and passion for the culinary arts and pursued his culinary education. He quickly planted roots in Phoenix, where he worked at Tarbell’s and Royal Palms.
Finishing school, the chef pursued his work at Tarbell’s full time where he was quickly promoted to sous chef. Soon after, he pursued work at The HerbFarm, one of the top 5 restaurants in the United States, where he worked for a year learning about the world of herbs and farm to table dining. Soon he would return back to Texas working as a personal chef.
Paul realized he missed the electric atmosphere and pulse of a moving kitchen, and returned to Tarbells, where he would move up to Head Chef, and eventually General Manager over six years. In 2006, Chef Paul cooked alongside chef Mark Tarbell on a winning team on the popular Food Network Show Iron Chef America, while also receiving an award for Top 4 Chef’s On Camelback locally that same year.
After Tarbells, Paul joined Silverleaf as Chef de Cuisine for 5 years, training under legendary chef Hirozen Obayashi, a popular Sushi Chef from the Los Angeles area. He then went on to open Phoenix Public Market Café downtown with longtime friend and colleague chef Aaron Chamberlin where he returned his focus on crafting exquisite cuisine with quality fresh from the farm ingredients. A year later, becoming the corporate chef for The Living Room Wine Bar and Café brand.
In July of 2016, Chef Paul joined the CopperWynd family as head chef of Flourish. To this day, he considers his greatest reward as having fellow employees become chefs themselves. He is inspired to showcase his ingredients while maintaining clean and plates of delicious dishes. He remains compassionate about his customer’s experience and committing memories to create most memorable plates.