Chef Paul

About The Chef

My name is Paul Friedman and I like to think of myself as just an ordinary guy who has had a lifetime love affair with food and the fortune of having owned and operated 58 restaurants in South Africa, Europe and the United States. I grew up in what was known as the Transvaal province of South Africa, they called it the land of the Xhosas, one of the major ethnic tribes in this part of Africa. Together with fellow N'guni peoples, the Zulu. They make up the majority of the South African population.There are another seven or so different tribes in the area ranging from remnants of the Khoi-San people to the Ndebele, Tswana, Swazi and Sotho peoples. When you add the various settler populations, South Africa becomes a melting pot of culinary influences. There are the Afrikaner, who were the descendants of the Dutch who arrived in 1652, and the French Huguenots who came some 50 to 60 years later. 

There are the descendants of British settlers from the 1820s and of course the large number of Portuguese and Greek immigrants to arrive sometime later. Stir into this melting pot, Asia Indians who arrive from 1860 and immigrants from Algeria, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zaire and you may begin to have some idea of the various cross cultural influences I was subjected to. AS a young infant I spent the first four years of my life learning from my maid servant Joyce, we lived in Johannesburg which is about the same size as Houston. Currently I'm operating my very latest restaurant concept called....The Chefs Table and I revisited the taste of my boyhood several times, and it is an obsession of mine to collect and see recipes from all the various ethnic groups of South Africa. From the Arab and the Africaner to Zairean and the Zulu, they all are Africa and evoke their own magic of taste. It has been my desire to be able to present these recipes with a selection of them and to make them available to others in a very special impersonal way--Enjoy the journey with me. Having retired from Pelipeli in 2018 he has returned to his original location at Vintage Park with his latest concept The Chefs Table.
Chef Friedman says this is by far my best creation yet and I hope to leave a legacy here for my children and grandchildren to be proud of.