Restaurateur, Real Estate Expert, Foodie
With the goal of "making every guest in his restaurants happy", Paul Zweben started his career in 1979, cooking with passion at some of the finest establishments in the country. After working at River Cafe and the Breakers Hotel, he formed a restaurant partnership in 1993 which made him a major part of fine dining establishments such as Rain, Calle Ocho, BLT Prime and Django.
In 1993 Paul found his second passion, real estate, and bought his first apartment building in what was then the unknown Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn. He continued to accumulate ownership of deeds and managed multiple residences throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking?
A:The only thing I can remember ever wanting to be is a chef. It started when I was 14 years old and hasn't changed since! I've been cooking now for 31 years, 17 of those professionally.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat important? How does grass-fed meat affect your cooking?
A:It is a way of raising cattle that is closest to nature, which is much better for the cows and for us. When I cook with grass-fed meat, I cook it at a lower temperature.
Q: Is your choice to use grass-fed meat about health or something else?
A:A big part of it is health — I like being able to indulge in red meat without the guilt that comes with conventional meat. But, I have to say, the flavor is great.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
A:I've been reading a lot about it and also talking about it with other chefs. Everyone's got their opinions, but a lot of people agree that grass-fed's the way to go.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
A:Your chances of messing up a dish are significantly reduced when you have with the right ingredients!
Q: What are the keys to success for the home chef?
A:Stay organized, season with salt and pepper and time things properly.
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
A:Make a list of everything you need first. Make a timeline of what needs to be done prior to the guests arriving. Do 99% of your prep work prior to the guests arriving. Most importantly, have fun!
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
A:My Pan-Seared Delmonico Steak with Poblanos, Onions and Garlic. I've included it here.