After graduating with honors from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Chef Paul Buchanan honed his cooking skills in some of the best kitchens in Southern California, including Water Grill, Patina, Pascals, La Brea Bakery and Campanile. At Patina, he executed large scale events like the Oscars, Emmys, and SAG Awards, gaining valuable experience in logistics as well as cooking with finesse. After working for esteemed chefs Nancy Silverton, Pascal Olhats, Joachim Splichel, among others, his passion for locally sourced ingredients drove him to open Primal Alchemy Catering (PAC) in 2001. Now a leader in the Sustainability/Slow Food Movement, Chef Paul takes pride in honoring what originated in Italy as the crusade to eat regionally, impassioning local food culture, and taking the time to enjoy all the beauties and enjoyment of a meal within its tradition and element, all while being conscious of the effect of how the way we consume imprints on the world..
As a recipient of many awards, including multiple years as Best Chef and Best Caterer by the Readers of the Press Telegram and the Long Beach Post, award-winning Chef Paul has been instrumental in cultivating the urban agricultural movement. An active participant in Slow Food, Chefs Collaborative, Master Food Preservers, and the American Institute of Wine and Food. He’s been premiered at several “Real Food” events throughout the years and has been featured in many cookbooks, such as the Community Table: Recipes for an Ecological Food Future by Alice Waters & Evan Marks, an entire chapter feature on pacific halibut recipes in Wild Alaskan Seafood: Celebrated Recipes from America’s Top Chefs & Ocean Friendly Cuisine: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the World’s Finest Chefs by James O. Fraioli.
In addition to events, Chef Paul is also an experienced Salumiere, bringing in whole Iberico pigs from a farm in Napa Valley and curing all the salumi in house, head to tail. From catering to charcuterie, to hand-crafted jams and pickled foods, he brings the beauty of nature to your kitchen and table. Chef Paul has always treated his cooking as an expression of art, which combined with his culinary talents, makes his food a masterful combination of flavors and visual presentation.
Chef Paul enjoys traveling to try new places to eat, bike riding, hiking, camping, roller-skating, reading (cookbooks of course), commiserating with fellow like-minded chefs, spending time with his wife and business partner, Dana, playing frisbee with his son, Drew, a graduate and now employee at UCSB, and cooking on his 1884 Vintage Garland Woodburning stove at their cabin.