Dine and Dish: Chef Paul's Cafe

72-year-old Paul Pearson is known for his fine food and engaging personality and never stops greeting customers.

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Friday, July 15, 2022
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When you're in the mood for some soul food, it's time to drop by Chef Paul's Cafe in downtown Fresno.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When you're in the mood for some soul food, that can only mean one thing...

It's time to drop by Chef Paul's Cafe in the Chinatown area of downtown Fresno.

Sizzling sounds serve as a constant soundtrack at Chef Paul's Cafe.

Those in the know, know where to go when in Fresno.

"Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and some cornbread. Been here before? Yessir," says Ed Oden, who visiting from Coalinga.

Paul Pearson is known for his fine food and engaging personality.

People can't get enough of the fried chicken with house seasoning.

"There's no secret to what we do. We brine our chicken for 24 hours in salt and sugar and black pepper corn solution," he says. "I attribute the success of this restaurant actually to my wife. She was the backbone."

Pinky's fried chicken is her recipe.

Regulars know it's best to beat the noon crowd.

"It gets pretty busy here, especially at 12. We've been in here before and there's a line out the door," says Jared Little from Hanford.

There are so many dishes to please the palate.

"We have shrimp and grits with our sourdough toast... we also have fried green tomatoes with the arugula aioli or spicy aioli," says Pearson.

The 72-year-old Pearson never stops greeting customers, even at catering events.

"I would have to say my favorite part is the people that I meet," he says.

Sometimes the guests are famous. One time a friend brought in actress Tyra Banks.

"At the end she says, 'How much do I owe you?' I said, 'We're closed today, you couldn't pay me enough to do this'," says Pearson.