About our chef

Paul Behan

Paul was inspired to be a chef at a young age, after many a summer holiday spent with his beloved grandad, baking delicious cakes and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. By his mid-teens it became apparent that Paul had an obvious talent and passion for creating exciting and innovative dishes.

His career began locally, at the highly revered Seckford Hall in Suffolk. It wasn’t long after that Paul’s culinary skills took him to the bright lights of London in the late eighties. This was around the time when the city’s fine dining scene imploded, and London was becoming known for its premium restaurants and big-name chefs.

Paul was selected to join the brigade of chefs at The Savoy, which for every young aspiring chef was the stuff of dreams! He worked incredibly long hours over two years of intense training to become a classically trained chef in French cooking, under the tutelage of the highly esteemed Michelin starred head chef Anton Edelmann.

Paul’s next step in his culinary journey was even more ambitious. With a strong desire to travel and further his education, he took off for Down Under, securing a coveted chef position at the Hyatt in the capital city of Canberra. At this luxury hotel, Paul cooked for many VIPs, senior politicians and dignitaries.

Paul also spent time travelling around Australia, working with different teams at many of the brand’s other hotels. This is where he discovered a huge melting pot of diverse and contemporary cuisine which only served to further his creativity and passion.

But after five years in Oz, home was beckoning, and Paul came back to the UK. After a brief stint as head chef of a large golf and country club located on the River Orwell in Suffolk, he embarked on his next ambition.

In 1998 Paul opened The Volunteer, one of Cambridge’s first gastro pubs. Paul created and designed well-composed menus using locally sourced produce that proved to be a big hit in the local area (Grantchester residents, Lord Jeffery Archer and Lady Mary Archer, dined there on several occasions!)

When Paul settled in Duxford over 20 years ago, his family (wife Sarah and their children, Jessica and Joshua) became his primary focus. He very quickly immersed himself in the village community and for a short time managed the local pub, going on to become the head chef at the John Lewis Superstore in Cambridge.

Paul is immensely proud and delighted at the prospect of running Café 19 on behalf of the village he loves to call home. He hopes it is a place that everyone will feel is an integral hub of the community and cannot wait to welcome everybody.

He has a fantastic team onboard who will be delighted to take care of you. Besides a delicious breakfast and lunch offering, Paul will be whipping up some delectable desserts and tasty treats (who hasn’t drooled over those scrumptious looking mille-feuilles he keeps tempting us with on Instagram!).

And of course, there’ll be some yummy cakes to enjoy with your friends over an afternoon cuppa too, just like the ones his grandad taught him to make all those years ago…