Owner, Executive Chef
Mezzaluna Fine Catering
JOHN PAULK appeared on the Portland culinary scene in 2004 and established Mezzaluna Fine Catering as an exclusive, upscale alternative to mundane, run-of-the-mill catering companies. His design aesthetic is clean & modern. His client list reads like a who’s-who of sports figures, national celebrities, CEOs, and politicians.
Upon arriving at a Mezzaluna catered event, party guests seem more like “paparazzi” as they quickly become infatuated with photographing John’s dazzling food displays which often take center stage. Guests at parties he caters are often overheard saying that his food is too stunning to eat, but once they do, their faces smile with delight.
John’s artistry merges simplicity and sophistication as he caters fresh, clean tasting cuisine prepared in classic style. He passionately creates cozy, satisfying meals for his clients drawing from his bodacious sense of humor.
Each client Mezzaluna serves is saturated with warmth and personal attention by a hand-picked, highly-trained team of people. “My goal is to make my client stand out to their guests. I want to alleviate any stress so that my clients can enjoy their event knowing that I have their back,” John says. “It’s about creating an emotional experience…a lasting memory…an event they’ll never forget. Really, it’s romance.”
Chef John received formal training from Le Cordon Bleu and upon completion of his studies graduated Summa Cum Laude being awarded a highest honors medal and the prestigious Diplôme Le Cordon Bleu from Academie d’Art Culinaire de Paris. He apprenticed at London Grill in Portland’s famous Benson Hotel. John serves as a board member on the Le Cordon Bleu Curriculum Advisory Board.
During the 1980’s he managed Cocolat, the celebrated San Francisco patisserie owned by James Beard award-winner, Alice Medrich. Prior to becoming a chef, John graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in opera performance.
Chef John is a talented media communicator having been interviewed for The Oregonian Food Day and makes regular contributionsand appearances in Portland Bride and Groom magazine. His television appearances include regular spots on KATU’s AM Northwest and KOIN’s Studio 6 program.
In 2011, John was asked by Random House Publishers to contribute to their 6-volume cookbook series for home cooks to be released in 2012. Also in 2011, Mezzaluna was awarded “Best Caterer of Portland” by the United States Commerce Association.
John is ardent in educating others about fine cuisine and regularly taught classes in downtown Portland at Sur La Table—America’s finest culinary store.
Chef John is a member of the Le Cordon Bleu Advisory Board, American Culinary Federation, National Association of Catering Executives, and Chefs de Cuisine Society of Oregon.
In 2015, Chef John appeared on the Food Network’s number one-rated competition show, Cutthroat Kitchen where he placed second.