As Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo gears to open its doors later in 2017, the hotel’s Executive Chef, Paul Lenz is excited to make this the most contemporary dining destination in the city. The hotel will offer an uncompromising selection of local and international cuisine, offering five restaurants and bars including Colombo’s most innovative and authentic Chinese Restaurant in Sri Lanka, a Western Grill, an interactive All Day Dining Restaurant, two uniquely themed bars, and a Lobby Lounge.
Born in the picturesque, riverside town of Heidelberg in Germany, it was Chef Paul’s father who inspired his love for cooking at a very young age. Chef Paul begun his career in fine-dining restaurants in Europe serving specialty French and International cuisine. In Switzerland he worked at two of the most famed hotels in the country -Grande Hotel Victoria Jungfrau in Interlaken and the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne.
He was soon consumed by his craving to travel and boarded the Queen Elizabeth Ocean Liner as a Chef De Cuisine. Little did he know that this adventure would set in motion a most colourful career. Chef Paul carries a wealth of knowledge from having worked at some of the finest hotels including The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida and the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai.From the USA to Dubai, and on to the hustle and bustle of some of Asia’s liveliestcities such as Hong Kong and Manila, and even the serene shores of Mauritius, Chef Paul has delighted guests during his own personal culinary journey.
With his wealth of experience and expertise, Chef Paul still honours simplicity, “I believe in unpretentious flavours that stay true to great ingredients, with the right cooking techniques – sensible food must be presented on a plate”. He also adds, “Having worked in many regions of the world, I have learnt to appreciate culinary traditions and honourauthentic recipes in anything I create”.
Joining Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts 12 years ago, Chef Paul first worked at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Sultanate of Oman and subsequently served as Area Executive Chef based at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.Incidentally it is in this hotel in Singapore where the legendary hospitality of Shangri-La begun. Here, Chef Paul made his mark in this story as he served at the exceptional award-winning restaurants including the famed “Shang Palace”, serving Cantonese cuisine. Chef Paul has also held the positionof Area Executive Chef for Shangri-La in the Philipinnes, based at Makati Shangri-La, Manila,set in the prestigious business and entertainment district of the city.
Joining Shangri-La Colombo, Chef Paul says, “It’s a most exciting time to be here in Colombo. The city is fast emerging as a lifestyle destination and I am humbled to create new-age experiences for the dining savvy in the city and international travelersfrom far and wide”.He elaborates, “This hotel will have the most luxurious and versatile banqueting spaces including the largest ballroom in the city that can cater to over 1500 guests. I look forward to exploring a range of cuisine to cater to some of the finest events in Colombo”.
In addition to masterfully creating unique menu’s and experiences at each of the hotels restaurants and bars, Chef Paul will also take on from Shangri-La’s “Rooted in Nature” cuisine concepts, which will focus on presenting sustainable culinary initiatives to Colombo, making dining at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, not just delicious but sustainable too.
From thrilling the palates of sheikhs, kings, queens and famous personalities from Hollywood to the world of sports and more, Chef Paul is happiest when he spends family time with his wife and children. His personal interests are as diverse as enjoying modern art to motorbike riding, with a particular love for Harley Davidsons.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo benefits from a prime location between the Galle Face Green promenade and Beira Lake and boasts uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. The hotel will feature 500 rooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments. Shangri-La Hotel Colombo will have the most extensive and versatile events space in Sri Lanka.