Chef Paul Heerlein

chef-paul-heerleinSince 2000, the primary focus of Chef Paul Heerlein’s thirty year career has been using his exceptional, globe-spanning culinary skills to educate and train successful cooks and chefs to create delicious healthy cuisine for guests with discriminating palates in Hawaii and around the world. Under his tutelage, protégées have learned to combine the cuisines of several countries to create inspirational and unique dishes by incorporating the finest of local ingredients. In June 2013 Chef Paul successfully completed the requirements for Certified Culinary Educator® (CCE®): An advanced-degree culinary professional, with industry experience, who is working as an educator in an accredited postsecondary institution or military training facility. A CCE® is responsible for the development, implementation, administration, evaluation and maintenance of a culinary arts or foodservice management curriculum. In addition, a CCE® demonstrates the culinary competencies of a CCC® or CWPC® during a Practical Exam. For more information regarding the certification degree, please click on the link below.

In 1999, Chef Paul was hired as Executive Chef for Molokai Ranch Lodge. As a member of the executive team, he assisted with all aspects of pre-opening duties such as; design, mission and vision statements, culture, job descriptions, hiring qualifications, menus, lesson plans, education and training. After opening the lodge, Chef Paul was also responsible for purchasing, receiving, inventory, cost controls, sanitation and safety. The menu concept reflected the ambiance of the 1920’s and 30’s era while remaining true to the local culture. Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and of course Hawaiian were the four main cultures evident in this era and were the specific influences and cooking styles utilized. This resulting Molokai Regional Cuisine incorporates fresh organic local produce, fish, shellfish and herbs available on Molokai with the four main cultures of Old Hawaii. The Signature Appetizer, the Hawaiian Mini Plate features Kalua Pork Lumpia on a Poi Dipping Sauce; Ahi Sashimi Stacks with avocado and Tobiko, and Sugar Cane Skewered Poached Salmon in a Lomi Tomato Martini Cocktail.

From 1991 to 1999, Chef Paul was instrumental in creating a series of bi-cultural food themes for The Gallery Restaurant at the Five Diamond Mauna Lani Resort on the Kohala Coast by inviting guest chefs and Master Sommeliers to inspire a fine dining experience. The signature dish, Six Peppered Ahi became the Salad Winner of the 1993 Hawaii Seafood Culinary Experience Excellence Competition. During this time, he also assisted many of the world’s finest chefs at the Mauna Lani’s Annual Cuisine’s of the Sun event.

In 1989 Paul was recruited from the Four Seasons Newport Beach to work with former colleague Chef Daniel Delbrel. Together they created a world class menu at Le Soleil, in the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. In 1991 Chef Paul left the hotel for a more challenging career as Working Executive Chef at the Gallery Restaurant Mauna Lani Resort.

In 1988 and 1989, Chef Paul had the privilege of serving as Chef Tournaut under Executive Chef Michel Pieton and Ester Carpenter in the Pavillion Restaurant of the Four Seasons Newport Beach. Chef Pieton is considered one of the Top 25 American Chefs by Food & Wine magazine.

Paul was greatly influenced in cooking by his mother who was a part time personal chef. He started working in restaurants at the age of 14.

A highlight of his career was the opening of Chef Paul’s Gourmet Foods in 1996, after winning first place with his 6-Peppered Ahi at the 1993 Hawaii Seafood Culinary Experience Competition. In addition to catering, personal and private chef services, Chef Paul’s has also created and marketed the following products.

  • 6-Pepper Salt – a blend of kosher salt, black pepper, white pepper, pasilla chili, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and chipotle chili
  • Island Stylin’ – a mixture of Roasted 6-Pepper Salt with the addition of garlic, ginger and chives
  • Paniolo Roundemup’ – onion, cumin and coriander mixed together with Roasted 6-Pepper Salt
  • Kona Coffee BBQ Grilling and Dipping Sauce

Chef Paul has appeared on many television shows over the years including; Chefs of Paradise, Ready Set Cook, PBS Cooking Across America With Dave Eckert, and on BBQ with Bobby Flay showcasing his Kona Coffee BBQ Grilling and Dipping sauce and demonstrating figs “from farm to table” with the assistance of his culinary students.

Chef Paul is a personal chef for many prominent and distinguished guests on the Kona-Kohala Coast. He enjoys creating unique dinning experiences that satisfy the needs of today’s discriminating palates.


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