Growing up in Yorkshire England, Chef Paul Pearson knew exactly what he wanted to do by the age of 12. He became fascinated with food and enjoyed eating out because of how special everyone felt. “I was keen to learn cooking and my grandmother taught me in the beginning,” he said, as we sat enjoying a plate of New England cheeses at Community Table, a favorite local restaurant known for its acclaimed food, cocktails and chic relaxed environment in New Preston, CT.
For his first job, he worked for the renowned Chef Raymond Blanc at Le Petit Blanc in Oxford, England. “My education soared in such a busy kitchen. I learned recipes for dressings and soups that I still use today. I also learned the regimen of cooking from Raymond Blanc. His French influence and techniques were vital,” Paul said. Next, he worked in London for another famous chef, Marco Pierre White. Marco is a British chef, restaurateur, and television personality from Leeds. White has been dubbed the first celebrity chef, and the “enfant terrible” of the UK restaurant scene. He was called the godfather of modern cooking and was the Head Chef in ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen television series.
Then home beckoned and he worked at a small family restaurant, Melton’s, where he learned Pastry work and seasonal food techniques. His international experience took him to the Lenox Relais Chateaux in Blantyre, a town in the Scottish Highlands, then another Relais Chateaux property in Puerto Rico as Sous Chef where he met his wife. During these years he experimented with flavors, and his own dishes evolved (some of which you can see today on the Community Table menu like his famous Yucca snack and Lamb with lentils).
He and his wife moved to Chicago and he worked at North Pond for Bruce Sherman who insisted on serving local and seasonal food. Chef Sherman taught Paul to utilize exceptional ingredients at the height of their season, and this had a significant influence on Paul. (Community Table has a lovely kitchen garden in the back yard). Finally, his first Head Chef position was offered to him by the Relais Chateaux in Watch Hill, RI. Here he made many of the contacts that he uses to source meals for Community Table today.
About Community Table
Jo-Ann Makovitzky became the new partner and General Manager of Community Table in 2018. She is a Culinary Institute of America trained Chef and former co-owner of Tocqueville and the Michelin star restaurant 15 East, in New York. She has high standards and smartly hired Paul Pearson as Head Chef whose fantastic education and experience is evident in his creative menu. “He truly is a great chef that knows how to handle food properly. Our philosophy is to give great service, serve a great product.” Joann said.
Community Table aims to express its passion for the New England region through food, wine, and hospitality. Community Table is a place to meet with friends, celebrate or dine solo. The restaurant is developing quickly into a fixture for the local community, Ct, as it is commonly referred to.
Chef Paul Pearson draws on the culmination of all of his education and traveling experiences to create a unique menu and atmosphere at Community Table. He likes to experiment with flavors that he tried in other restaurants and wants people’s night out to be an exceptional experience like he enjoyed so long ago as a boy. Some of the highlights on the dinner menu are: The Seared Smoked Scallops with crushed celery root, cabbage, apple, and truffle emulsion; Roasted Lamb with braised lentils, sautéed kale, elderberry caper, and preserved tomato gremolata; and Roasted King Trumpet Mushrooms, maitake, parsnip puree, fennel, and black olive “jus.” Dessert standouts are: Warm Pistachio Cake with hibiscus poached rhubarb, cardamom sauce and Bittersweet Chocolate Cremeux with salted coffee caramel caramelized cocoa nibs. Their Sunday brunch menu has nice twists like Pan Seared Gulf Shrimp with creamy grits and Prime NY Steak and Eggs and Parker House Rolls. On Sunday from 3pm-9pm they offer drinks and nibbles on their patio overlooking lawn games.
May and June Hours
Dinner: Thursday – Monday (Mon. is burger night) 4:30p-9:00p
Sunday Brunch: Noon-3:00 pm
Summer Sunday: 3p-9p with their regular menu, outdoor patio, and lawn games
HAPPY HOUR: 4:30p-5:30p Monday-Thursday
Closed Tuesday and Wednesdays, June 17th onwards Open 7 nights a week
www.communitytablect.com for hours