Rising Star Chef Paul Donnelly of Tuxedo Hospitality - Biography

New York, NY

November 2020

Born and raised a Scot, Paul Donnelly was once ashamed to be the only boy in his class who was killing it in home economics. But all he wanted to do was cook, so he decided to attend culinary school at Glasgow Metropolitan College while working at Cameron's Restaurant and staging at Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis. Upon graduation, Donnelly found limited culinary opportunities to cook Asian food in Scotland but remembered the nature documentaries he loved so dearly. With visions of Australian wildlife (edible and otherwise), he moved to Sydney.

The first job he landed there was on the wok at Japanese restaurant Ivy Teppanyaki, followed by Sailors Thai. In 2010, Donnelly interned with David Thompson at the Bangkok location of Nahm. He then returned to Sydney to work as head chef at Ms. G’s under the tutelage of the award-winning Vietnamese chef and restaurateur Dan Hong. In 2016, longtime friend Eddy Buckingham approached Donnelly about opening a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan. By the time Donnelly arrived, he had no suppliers and almost no staff, only a menu and a sous chef. They opened Chinese Tuxedo two weeks later inside a historic Chinatown opera house.

Although Chinese Tuxedo was forced to temporarily close due to the pandemic, Donnelly’s team has remained busy. They opened the more casual, Pan-Asian The Tyger this September, right around the corner from Chinese Tuxedo, which reopened in November.