Paul Collins has worked as a professional chef for over 20 years, working in some of the most prestigious and high profile kitchens; The Dorchester, Cliveden, Lucknam Park, Daylesford Organic and The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire. He has gained awards from leading guides including the Michelin and AA and has cooked for royalty, prime ministers and world famous stars from music, stage and screen. He was the private chef to JCB owner, Sir Anthony and Lady Carole Bamford, catering for a full schedule of social engagements from shooting lunches, Caribbean beach parties to formal dinners.
In May 2011 he launched Chef Paul Collins, offering bespoke private dining in the luxury of client’s homes. Paul has a monthly slot cooking live on air on BBC Radio Oxford. Paul also consults to the restaurant and hotel industry and the food industry, hosting a series of summer cookery demonstrations in 2011 & again in 2012 at Yeo Valley and devising recipes for UK Shallots 2012 and 2013 campaigns and recipes for Chilean Winery Concha Y Toro.
Paul attended Aylesbury College and gained distinctions in City & Guilds qualifications. He was Student Of The Year for two years. He was awarded a scholarship to Westminster College where he was awarded Pastry Student Of The Year.
From the Dorchester Hotel as a Commis, to Cavaliers Restaurant in Battersea, Paul then moved to Cliveden where as Junior Sous Chef he oversaw Waldo’s Restaurant, which gained a Michelin star in its first year. For two years Paul was a finalist in the Salon Culinere competition. At 24, Paul took on his first Head Chef role at The Royal Oak in Yattendon and was awarded 3 AA rosettes, placing the restaurant in the top 10% of the country. At that time Paul was placed 3rd in the national final of the American Express Young Chef/Young Waiter of The Year. From there to Llangoed Hall, then L’Escargot in Soho, Paul next worked as Head Chef at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire. Whilst there he was a finalist in ITV’s Chef Of The Year and television series Europe A La Carte viewed by a europewide TV audience of over 60 million, also featuring Alain Ducasse. Moving on four years later to the Loft restaurant in Blair Athol, Scotland and Paul was awarded ‘Rural Chef Of The Year 2002 ‘ by the Scottish Chefs Association and received a Catey nomination for Menu Of The Year.
In 2003, Paul moved to the Cotswolds and was part of the launch team at Daylesford Organic. He was Executive Head Chef there for 7 years and oversaw all food production in Gloucestershire and London. He also setup the first two franchises in South Korea and Munich. Under Paul’s management the organic café at the Gloucestershire site was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2009 and 2010.
In 2010 Paul became the Executive Head Chef at the 5 star, 240 bedroom hotel, The Grove in Hertfordshire he was in charge of 3 restaurants and extensive banqueting facilities and oversaw of a brigade of 80 chefs.
Now Paul has launched his own venture, ChefPaulCollins, offering his culinary skills to people who entertain at home and enjoy food for special occasions. He wants to share his passion for seasonal, local and organic food, creating a bespoke menu with the client using produce that celebrates the seasonal bounty and reflects their favourite ingredients. He is booked for all occasions. Six months after launching his new venture, Chef Paul Collins, Rachel Johnson editor of The Lady, ran a two page feature in the magazine on Paul and ‘Dining Out At Home’ in January 2012.