Miami-based chef Paul Aceto is at the top of his game and in high demand for his ability to deliver a unique culinary experience. A private chef by day and owner of Silver Spoon Events, Paul's experiences from working with some of the countries top chefs and time abroad in some of the culinary capitals of the world have greatly influenced his ability to take simple ingredients and produce great food.
“Healthy living with a gourmet taste” is his company’s mantra, which makes him highly marketable in today’s health conscious society and has further motivated him to expand his business more recently to include juicing and health and fitness consulting. Hired by countless Hollywood celebrities, who will remain nameless, for private events, dinner parties and exclusive destination weddings, Paul has had the opportunity to get creative with his food and not feel the constraints of cooking in a formal restaurant setting. He is highly influenced by his Italian/Mediterranean roots and travels at least once a year to Europe to spend time with family or work with a private client, bringing with it new inspiration and culinary experiences.
As an Ironman finisher and an avid health and fitness aficionado, Paul understands the importance of giving the body the fuel it needs through a balanced diet and nutrition. He takes pride in the food he puts on people's plates, using fresh organic local and regional ingredients, and cultivating relationships with farmers and markets in the area. On any given day, you will likely find Paul at the farmers market before the sunrises with his workout already complete and green smoothie in hand, selecting farm fresh produce that will inspire his daily menus. He is passionate about the food and it is this passion that speaks for itself on the plate.
Paul's love for great food began at the young age of 15. Submerging himself in the industry as much as he could, he worked in restaurants, hotels and private clubs as a way to gain as much diversity in his culinary skills as possible. After completing his bachelor’s degree in business at Alma College (Michigan), he went on to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. During an internship, Paul spent time in Croatia and six months in Eastern Europe, which undoubtedly took his craft to the next level through exposure to different cuisine, flavors, culture and masters of the trade.
Paul has worked under and alongside some extraordinary chefs, from Michelle Berstein (Azul, Mandarin Oriental, Miami) to Eric Ripert for a private event. Unforgettably, he had the opportunity to cook for Penelope Cruz at her wedding in the Bahamas at David Copperfield’s private island Musha Cay. During the summertime, Paul spends time cooking for clients in the North Carolina Mountains, including Cashiers, Asheville, and the Highlands. Since working as a private/personal chef, Paul has enjoyed the creative liberties it has given him to experiment with new recipes and inspire others with his food.
Noteworthy asked Paul to share with us a few simple appetizers and a side dish to add to our holiday spreads. Enjoy!
Prosciutto Wrapped Brie
- 1/2 pound San Danielle Prosciutto (sliced thin)
- 1 small wheel Brie cheese (good quality)
- 1 jar fig jam
- 1 bunch yellow celery leaves (for garnish, optional)
- Preheat oven 450 degrees
- Line prosciutto slices on cutting board
- Cut in half length wise
- Cut Brie cheese in 1” squares and place one on piece of prosciutto
- Spoon one teaspoon of fig jam on top of brie
- Chill in freezer until ready to use
- Bake 450-degree oven for 5-7 minutes
- Garnish with celery leaves, if desired
- 1/2 pound raw peeled & deveined fresh shrimp
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Store bought toast points or make your own with a nice French baguette (sliced and lightly toasted)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Using a food processor, place all ingredients in and pulse until ingredients are incorporated evenly
- Transfer mixture to a piping bag (or large zip lock bag and cut off corner)
- Pipe small 1/2 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 400-degree oven
- Transfer cooked shrimp dumpling to toast points
- 4 cups organic curly kale
- Water and the juice of 1-2 limes (for soaking)
- 1/4-cup carrots grated
- 1/4-cup celery sliced thin
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/4-cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4-cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (low sodium)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Soak kale in bowl of water (enough to submerge kale) and juice of 1-2 limes over night (if not overnight, for at least an hour)
- Combine honey, rice wine vinegar and soy and whisk to make vinaigrette
- Drain kale and squeeze out as much water as possible
- Chiffonade kale as fine as possible (or chop in food processor)
- In a bowl, combine kale, carrots, celery, avocado, dried cherries and toss with vinaigrette
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
Paul Aceto lives in Miami, FL, with his wife and young son. He works as a private/personal chef and is the owner of Silver Spoon Events. Paul has begun to expand his business to include health and fitness consulting and enjoys teaching others how to cook.
Images by Graciela Cattarossi Photography.