Chef Paul Shufelt, Hospitality Group

PaulShufelt03Paul Shufelt has always been crazy about food. Growing up near Montreal and cooking in his mother’s kitchen led him to NAIT’s culinary program, followed by an apprenticeship with Thomas Neukom at Banff’s Buffalo Mountain Lodge. In 2001 he moved to Switzerland for international experience, working with chef Urs Thommen at Gasthof Baren Utzenstorf, near Bern. He is now a business partner and the executive chef of the Century Hospitality Group.

Paul Shufelt is Edmonton’s Gold Medal Plates gold medalist. He competes for the national title at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna February 7/8.


West Brome, Quebec.

Years in resto biz?


Where would you like to live?

I do love the Okanagan.

Your favourite food and drink?

A simple, rustic bowl of hand-made pasta. Hendricks and soda.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the restaurant business?

Probably something to do with finance and the stock market, but I’d still be cooking.

What do you most appreciate in your friends?

People that are genuine.

Your favourite qualities in a dish?

Simplicity, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

Your favourite qualities in a cook?

People with drive, who pursue perfection, who understand it’s a direction, not a destination.

In a wine?

Easy drinking.

Who would be at your dream dinner table (dead or alive)?

Thomas Keller. I would love to pick his brain on food and the restaurant business. My grandparents. My grandmothers were a strong influence in my becoming a chef, and the type of person I am. They are missed.

Who would cook?

The grandmas. The smell of onions cooking instantly brings me back to my grandmother’s house — it was always the start of something good.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

That’s not good enough. Make it again.

Current culinary obsession/exploration?

The trend is dumping 15-20 things on the plate. I’m keeping it simple, stick with the basics, complement not crowd.

Meaningful/crazy experience?

Last spring I cooked with John Michael MacNeil at Teatro in Calgary. We had worked together in Banff. It’s amazing to see his evolution — his kitchen feels like a science lab. I felt like a kid on his first day of school, learning all these tricks. I was in awe, and I brought some of the techniques back to our kitchens, such as using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream and an ISI gun for hollandaise.

Best thing that ever happened to you?

My 18-month-old daughter. There’s not much she won’t eat right now. She loves green peas, berries, yogurt. She likes spice! We have to keep the chips and salsa out of reach.


Thomas Neukom, Buffalo Mountain Lodge, and my business partner Chris Lachance. Thomas taught me a lot about cooking and gave me the nudge to go to Switzerland; Chris taught me a ton about business, what it takes to succeed.

Favourite casual cheap and cheerful/afterwork food?

I don’t indulge like I used to but I do still love a good poutine. Going out after work? I might make it to midnight. Then it’s time to put my sorry ass in a cab and go home.


Leave everything on the plate.
Give it your all.

What’s next?

Hart’s Table & Bar is a neigbourhood eatery in Terwillegar Shoppes opening later in January. It’s about burgers, meatloaf, French onion soup — comfort food.