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What do you imagine when you think of food in the Bahamas? Take that thought and forget about it, because it’s about to get completely redefined.
We asked Chef Georg Paulussen if there’s one ingredient he must incorporate in his dishes, but he couldn’t list just one. We asked if there’s one lesson he’s learned that has stuck with him the most throughout his years, but he couldn’t refrain from listing a couple. There are simply too many flavors, too many lessons, and too many words in the English dictionary to restrict Chef Paulussen’s passions to a singular. And that’s exactly what keeps him getting up every morning, one word… passion. Not the kind you develop over time, but the kind that you’re born with.
Chef Paulussen knew from day one that he wanted to dominate the kitchen, “I always wanted to be a cook. But no one from my family is a chef or in the restaurant business.” It’s something unique to him, something that you could say he was just destined to be. Growing up in Germany, he pursued culinary arts from the start of his schooling. At 23, he joined the Hilton family, and spent years working with the brand in his various culinary ventures. Traveling around the world bringing his expertise to the Hilton in New York City, London, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Hong Kong, to say the Chef is cultured is an understatement. He has completely dominated the culinary scene in Vegas, overseeing all restaurant venues as Executive Chef at The Venetian, Caesars Palace, and Trump Towers.
Being an Executive Chef of a huge hotel brand isn’t the same as being an Executive Chef of a restaurant. Think bigger scale, much bigger scale. For the majority of his career, Chef Paulussen has worked as the Executive Chef for a wide variety of Five Star hotels and resorts, including the Atlantis Resort, Hotel & Casino in the Bahamas as Vice President of Culinary, meaning he oversees more than 40 restaurants at a time. And that’s why he loves his particular hotel cuisine niche, it provides the perfect opportunity to explore and conquer a wide range of cuisines and venues. His day to day consists of quality control, menu creation, meetings with his crew, and cooking up new creations. The work is relentless, 7 days 14 hours a week. But even after 36 years as a chef, he loves it. “I wouldn’t do anything else.”
As the new Executive Chef of Resorts World Bimini, Chef Paulussen wants to bring change. He’s tired of the seeing the same old flavors and the same old menu offerings over and over again. “When people come to Caribbean resorts, they only see typical American restaurants. I want to offer food that is authentic.” And when he says real, he really means it. The Chef is bringing his travel experience into the menus of Resorts World Bimini’s restaurants. His vision is to transform each dining venue into a haven of authentic delights. Every item on his menus screams culinary innovation at its finest. We’re talking rosemary marinated roast lamb-rack, complemented by Israeli cous cous, artichokes, and pine nuts. Feeling adventurous? Try the duck confit flatbread served with shiitake mushrooms, goat cheese, and dried cherry mustard. Not to mention a delectable pan-fried halibut and crispy 10-hour braised pork belly. Hungry, yet?
So while Chef Paulussen keeps the authenticity in his dishes alive, he makes sure to add his own take on the ingredients and methods of preparation. Ultimately, he makes sure that authentic doesn’t equate to predictable. With go-to spices like star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, and different kinds of curries, predictable isn’t in the realm of possibility. One of the most impressive aspects about Chef Paulussen is that he doesn’t take the art of cuisine for granted. He’s made it to the top of his game and has maintained that status, yet he remains completely grounded. “You go into a restaurant and you give complete trust to the chef and the kitchen to treat the food in a safe manner. You have never seen these people but you order the food anyways. People trust chefs to do the right thing.” It’s rare that a chef thinks so deep about the process that they recognize the underlying layer of trust that is involved between a customer and a chef. Chef Paulussen doesn’t take it for granted, he honors it to the highest standard.
Food in the Bahamas should be authentic, exciting, and an unforgettable experience in quality, and that’s exactly what Chef Paulussen is bringing to the plate in Bimini.