Chef Paul Menta
Paul Menta is like a master chef, whipping up a storm in the kitchen and on the ocean, each ingredient and element expertly chosen to bring out the full flavor and potential of his creations, be it a delicious meal or a smooth glass of homemade rum. And like a kite, he soars with the wind, guided by his passion and skill to new heights and experiences. He also continuously helps and serves his community, sharing his love for cooking, distillation and ocean sports in a way that can benifit others."
It’s not easy to define Paul Menta. Paul arrived in Key West over thirty years ago, after graduating from culinary school in Philadelphia and traveling throughout much of Europe and Latin America to hone his cooking skills and philosophy. Paul arrived in Key West as a young chef with an honest style.
With an unwavering commitment to fresh and sustainable, with a promising future, Key West provided his culinary curiosity with a landscape to run wild. He began spearfishing to better understand the species local to his new home, that would become staples of his menus. He founded Cuban Coffee Queen, he co-founded Amigo's Three Hands Fish, a sustainable seafood market, to ensure that his restaurant, in addition to all other island restaurants and community members, always had access to fresh, local seafood; and finally he founded Key West Legal Rum, the first and only distillery in Key West. With Key West Legal Rum, his goal was to create a signature distillation process and to provide the Island and Key West restaurants with locally-made rum.
Paul attributes time spent in Latin America, just prior to arriving in Key West, as being his most culinarily transformative. Living with host families, he learned from town elders the importance of going direct-to-source to best understand ingredients and build dishes – be they local fishermen, farmers, or even grandmas with centuries-old family recipes. This philosophy was put into motion upon Paul’s arrival to Key West.
For more information on Paul, visit paulmenta.com.