The Chef

Chef Paul Niedermann

AKA –  Chef Paul / Paulie

Born and raised in Cooper City, Florida, I moved to Miami and then eventually L.A. where I entered and won a reality cooking show called “Hell’s Kitchen”. Cooking runs in my family so I knew I had to carry a legacy that my family loves and in return, makes other people happy! My father was the Executive Chef for some predominant Florida restaurants and even ran a college university’s kitchen back in the day. My mom was a whiz, whipping up home cooked meals my entire life. With both my parents so great in the kitchen, I was exposed to two completely different cooking styles and knew I wanted to be a chef. What I did not know was that my world was about to be turned upside down before even turning 30. Winning “Hell’s Kitchen” was not just a highlight but something that really set my career in a path I never could’ve imagined.

What was it like being on “Hell’s Kitchen”?

Imagine trying to do your job with a bunch of other people who are equally talented and someone you have idolized your entire life is on the side line judging your every move. NOW imagine 17 cameras pointed at you and a million people watching from their homes. The pressure was intense and failure was something that I would not look at. Having Gordon Ramsey on set was intense enough, but when throw everything I mentioned into the mix, you now have a recipe for great T.V. but some very stressed out chefs. The panic and stress you see on T.V. are very real but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Making it on the show was an accomplishment on it’s own but winning was one of the pinnacles of my career. Of course you get some money and an awesome job after you win but the experiences proceeding were the highlights. Being able to say I’ve cooked for celebrities like Tyra Banks, Daniel McBride, Hillary Duff, Rob Dyrdek, my idol Gordon Ramsey and many others I can’t think of off the top of my head, made the whole experience even more indescribable. I’m not sure I would enter another cooking competition but I’m very happy I did the show and equally as grateful for where it has taken me.

How did you end up in Delray?

Well I’m originally from Florida so moving back was not a hard decision. After you win “Hell’s Kitchen”, Gordon Ramsey sets you up with an amazing job working for the BLT Group and that job took me everywhere from Manhattan to Miami, from Los Angeles to The Hamptons and everywhere in between. It was awesome going from place to place and running all these amazing restaurants but after a few years I decided I wanted to be back in Florida full time and closer to friends and family. Making the decision to leave BLT wasn’t the easiest but I wanted to plant roots close to where I was raised. I’m now with SALT7 which is a modern American restaurant in Delray Beach and I intend to bring the same passion and drive that allowed me to win “Hell’s Kitchen” to their kitchen.

How long have you been in Delray?

I’ve been living in Deerfield for a few years but working in Delray for a little while now. I really like Delray so I think ill stay with SALT7 to showcase something I love doing.

What do you think of the restaurant scene in Delray?

Delray has some awesome restaurants with so much variety. The chefs I’ve met are nothing but top notch and the dishes they pump out are nothing short of amazing. It’s really cool to see a town that has grown so much in the past few years continue to evolve and flourish. Food is like a universal language, you cook for people and in return it makes them happy. In Delray you have so many ways to keep people happy, from sushi to prime steaks and everything in-between, the chefs here are really making their mark in the culinary world.

What do you do when you’re not cooking?

Friends and family are very important to me so when I’m not at work I really enjoy taking advantage of one of Florida’s biggest past times, fishing. It allows me to unwind and just forget the stress of working in a kitchen. Besides that I’m really big into sourcing the finest local ingredients from unexpected places so I can bring them into the kitchen and share them with my guests. Even when I’m not working, I’m working. Funny how that works but it works I guess, haha.

What are your future ambitions?

Currently I’m with SALT7 and I know we want to expand into larger markets like Fort Lauderdale and Miami so overseeing those kitchens are something I’m very much looking forward to. As for right now, I really want to crank out some awesome dishes and continue to help put Delray Beach and SALT7 on the map as a culinary destination.

What is your favorite food?

Like I said earlier, food is a universal language and sharing your food with people you love is something I’m really big on. Sunday Sauce is my favorite and was something that I grew up with. Mom would cook this essentially bolognese sauce with pasta for hours and after the day was done, friends and family would come over for a huge meal. Food is more than just taste, it’s a feeling as well and continuing this tradition of Sunday Sauce is something that I can say will be apart of my life for years to come.