Paul Wilson is one of the world’s foremost experts on Latin-American cooking. He is known for taking classic ideas from traditional food cultures and transforming them into contemporary dishes. In Melbourne, he is thought to have created some of the most exciting Mexican food available today. He is in fact a classically trained chef who hails from the UK (his neighbour was a famous chef at a Mayfair restaurant and Paul left school early to work for him). Paul moved to Australia more than a decade ago, driven by a thirst for food adventure – and a job offer (setting up the new Georges) that was too good to refuse.
He has since garnered acclaim as, variously, head chef at The Botanical Hotel, in Melbourne’s South Yarra, and as executive chef for The Melbourne Pub Group, who tapped into the zeitgeist with the Newmarket Hotel and Acland Street Cantina. More recently, he has been at the helm of Lady Carolina, a celebration of Latin American cuisine in Brunswick. In this latest venture he has gone all out, sourcing Andean and Amazonian produce such as purple corn, varietal chillies, tree tomatoes and South American yams from hobby farmers in the Queensland hinterland and Tasmania.
His ultimate mission is to educate eaters about the simple joys of Latin American cuisine, and the tastes that await them if they are willing to set aside their preconceptions of Mexican food and embrace authenticity.