Meet the Food Forager,
Chef Paul McComiskey
Growing up in the small farming community of Colchester, Connecticut, Chef Paul McComiskey developed an interest in cooking at a young age. His culinary career began at 14 when he took a job as a dishwasher at a summer camp and, after showing a keen interest in food, was quickly promoted to prep cook. Early on, he came to understand the importance of serving fresh, wholesome food; he recognized that food could not only feed the body but also fuel the soul. This realization kick-started the pursuit of his culinary dreams, and by the time he was 21, Chef Paul had taken every food-related opportunity that crossed his path, working in diners, pizza kitchens, casinos, fish markets, small cafes and even at a slaughterhouse.
His varied background earned him his very first position as a Chef, running the kitchen at the Willimantic Brewing Company and Main Street Café. There, he developed strong ties to the community working with local breweries and restaurants to expand a beer dinner program and started a charitable Guest Chef program that benefited nearby soup kitchens, schools and community organizations.
Chef Paul’s passion for local and seasonal cuisine heightened when he joined the Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant in Storrs, Connecticut as the chef de cuisine. Later, he became a Sous Chef at Weekapaug Inn where, under the expert guidance of Chef Jennifer Backman, Paul learned the art of hospitality. In March 2015, he journeyed to Ocean House in as the Food Forager. Paul’s unconventional culinary training and his rise from home cook to sous chef made him an obvious choice for the position. At Ocean House, he is able to create lasting relationships with local purveyors, seek out the freshest local flavors and practice and teach his own food and cooking philosophies.