Tonawanda News

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September 24, 2006

Local native to appear on Oprah

QUITE A COOK: Paul Gelose was Oprah’s personal chef. Now he’ll be on her show.

Paul Gelose was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef in the 1990s before the iconic diva shed significant pounds through a healthy diet and vigorous exercise.

It’s unclear what she misses: him or the food.

Gelose, a graduate of the City of Tonawanda High School, will appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday in a segment that will likely show her eating at his restaurant, the Palace Restaurant, in Durango, Colo., and hanging out with each other in Durango.

Winfrey sprung the surprise visit on Gelose weeks before his June 23 wedding to his wife, Carolyn, said Niagara Falls resident Anthony Gelose, Paul’s brother. The aired segment will be part of a series, taped during a 10-day, early summer road trip Winfrey took with good friend, Gayle, from Santa Barbara, Calif., to New York City, called Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure.

Paul Gelose, whose father lives in the City of Tonawanda and is also named Anthony, catered an event Oprah attended while he was a chef in Telluride, Co., and she was so impressed, she asked him to be her personal chef, said Liz Sarkovics of North Tonawanda, Gelose’s cousin.

“His cooking is excellent,” brother Anthony Gelose said. “He has the best restaurant in Durango.”

Paul Gelose worked in Chicago as Oprah’s personal chef from June, 1996, until June, 1997, but left to return to Colorado, where he’s been the owner and chef of the Palace Restaurant since Sept., 1997.

“It’s been a good run for him,” brother Anthony Gelose said. “He’s done very well for himself.”

The newly-wed chef received an associate’s degree of occupational studies in professional chef studies from SUNY at Cobleskill in 1979, and a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981.

Since then he’s worked as a chef in Minnesota, California, Switzerland, Utah and Colorado, according to his resume.

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