About Me

Paula Zavala About

Paula Zavala

Paula is a proud Mexican-born Canadian Chef who has lived in Toronto for almost 20 years. Her impressive career started in Mexico City where she attended CESSA (Instituto Culinario de America Latina) immediately after graduating she became part of Las Mañanitas Garden Hotel & Catering by Relais & Chateaux in Cuernavaca.

She worked in the United States in different catering companies including Truffles at The Belvedere Catering in Baltimore, Maryland. She owns Paula Zavala Eventos in Mexico City and founded Paula Zavala Chef Co. after relocating into Canada where she has been melting pre-hispanic traditions with contemporary flavors.

Paula has participated in different TV shows like the Marilyn Denis Show and she has been host-chef of important brands like Fontaine Santé at the Toronto’s Gourmet Food & Wine Expo.

Chef Paula is proud to have worked with well-recognized brands and companies such as Cerveza Dos XX, Herradura Tequila, Snapchat Canada, SickKids Hospital, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North York Hospital, Omers (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), Royal Bank of Canada, Bell, York Region District School Board, among others. Learn more

Paula cofounded El Rudo Gourmet with her dear compadre Cesar Mendoza in 2020

Welcome Message

Sharing my passion for food

I am honoured that you are visiting my website!

I am a cheerful Mexican expatriate living in Canada. My origins derive from two very different and large families where food has always been a big part, if not the center, of our daily conversations. 
On my dad’s side, all nine brothers and sisters are die-hard vegetarians who own restaurants, bakeries and just master outstanding plant-based dishes. They feel proud of it and for as long as I can remember, have vocalized how unhealthy conventional diets are.
Contrary enough, on my mom’s side of the family, all siblings would often boast of details on how to buy a whole pig and slow-roast it to perfection. So…in my parent’s household, we had no choice but to eat it all!

After finishing high school, I decided to study communications. I dreamt of becoming a news reporter, a morning show host or just be famous and follow people around with a microphone. But, after a while into it, something was just missing. I found myself often wanting to rush home to open one of my mom’s cookbooks and recreate something delicious that I could share or devour.

One day, stuck in heavy traffic while living in Mexico City, with enough time to notice street happenings, my eyes suddenly met with a huge sign that said: “Culinary School”. Without hesitation, I parked my car and invited myself into the building. What I saw that day, changed my life forever…

 From that moment on I became mesmerized by the rush of a working kitchen, bewitched by the scents that filled the air and fascinated by the magical individuality that can be imprinted in each chef’s version of one same recipe. I also learned to take pride in my roots diving into the complexity of Mexican Gastronomy.

 Now I can see that my memories of food were always there but became alive after that day! What a gift it was for me. My mother had passed away but now had come back to me through her own passion for food. I could once again feel connected, loved and embraced by her.

About Chef Paula Zavala
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