Chef Paul O'Connell opened Chez Henri, the French restaurant with a Latin twist, in Cambridge in 1994. Chez Henri was named best new restaurant that year by both Esquire and Bon Appetite and has gone on to win several Best of Boston awards including "Best Fusion," "Best French Restaurant," "Best Cocktail: Mojito," and "Best First Date Restaurant."
Upon graduating from Johnson and Wales University, Paul worked with several of Boston's top chefs, including Lydia Shire at the Parker House Hotel, Jasper White at the eponymous Restaurant Jasper, Chris Schlesinger at the East Coast Grill and with Todd English as opening sous chef at Olives in Charlestown. While working with these chefs Paul learned the importance of using locally grown and raised foods and honed his skills in wood-fire grilling and pastries.
In 1993, Paul opened his first restaurant, Providence, in Brookline, which received critical acclaim including three stars from the Boston Globe and recognition from both Esquire and Gourmet. Paul closed Providence in 2000 and now focuses solely on Chez Henri.
Paul is also committed to many charities such as Greater Boston Food Bank, Taste of the NFL, The Farm School and the Super Hunger Brunch. Paul is a member of Slow Food and The Chefs Collaborative.
Paul has appeared on Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, Chronicle and the PBS series Cooking Around Town. He has also written for The Journal of Gastronomy and Food Arts about his travels in Cuba.