Each year thousands of visitors to Barbados choose to vacation in one of the many private villas which dot the island’s beach lined West Coast – and honestly now, who could really blame them?!
For imagine if you will the comfort of having a luxurious home away from home; with manicured residential gardens and neatly trimmed hedges, arching, old mahogany trees, and lily ponds with their lily pads and gold fish; your very own pool with a family pool deck and your favourite, personal pool loungers; stately bedrooms with French doors and laced curtains, and dining rooms of Wedgewood and silver; and a personal chef with his staff, preparing culinary treats to your every whim and desire.
A private villa offers visitors a unique and pampered holiday and last year chef extraordinaire of Greensleeves, Paul Norville, was honoured by the Barbados Tourism Authority as the Villa Employee of the Year – an incredible achievement in a niche industry that offers service at the highest level.
“Cooking is truly a passion of mine,” says Paul, “and I commit to preparing nothing less than a perfect meal each time. Each meal should appeal to each of the 5 senses and should be nothing less than exquisitely presented.”
Like many world famous chefs, Paul received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America in beautiful upstate New York.
“I was encouraged to attend this marvelous institution by the two senior chefs of the first restaurant that I worked in, La Maison.”
In fact, those two chefs, Hans and Silvan, also encouraged Paul to broaden his dreams. “When I first started out I just wanted to be a pastry chef but they encouraged me not to limit myself, and so I sought to learn as much as I could, and my meals now are fantastically diverse.”
Having travelled throughout the Caribbean, North America and Europe, Paul enjoys integrating traditional Caribbean ingredients and flavours into international menus. “I love cooking with the produce of our region: guavas, sweet potatoes, salt fish, paw-paw, mangoes, breadfruit, and avocados. However, I always aim to introduce them in my meals in ways identifiable to my guests.”
When Paul is not at work, he finds lots of time to spend with his wife Michelle and their two young children, Jaden and Jassia. “They’re already tinkering in the kitchen”, he says of his children, “and they love to help out with the breakfast.” Paul himself recalls his early love for baking alongside his mum in the kitchen. “She made the best sponge cakes, the best turn-overs and the best breads you ever tasted.”
And of his dad he remembers these treasured words of encouragement, “Nothing Happens Before Its Time.”
Indeed, patience and dedication to service and excellence have earned Paul Norville both national honour as the Villa Employee of the Year, and far-reaching international acclaim. having appeared on Food Network Television with Sarah Moulton.
Article written in 2005 and compliments of “Ins and Outs of Barbados” Magazine
Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow their businesses online with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.