Paul Ainsworth was born into the hospitality industry and went on to study catering and hospitality at Southampton City College.
Paul achieved his first break in 1998 at Gary Rhodes’ Michelin-starred London restaurant, Rhodes in the Square. Two years later, he joined leading British chef Gordon Ramsay at his Chelsea restaurant, Royal Hospital Road, becoming part of the team that earned the restaurant its third Michelin star.
In 2005, Paul was invited to head up the kitchen of No6 in Padstow. In 2009, Paul and his wife Emma took the restaurant over and relaunched it as Paul Ainsworth at No6. They were awarded a Michelin star in 2013 – one of their proudest achievements.
In 2010, Padstow’s Rojanos in the Square joined the Ainsworth Collection. Paul and Emma purchased the freehold and relaunched the restaurant as Caffè Rojano in 2020. The couple also bought and refurbished The Padstow Townhouse, launching it as a luxury boutique hotel in 2015.
The couple’s most ambitious project to date began in 2019 with The Mariners Public House in Rock, just across the water from Padstow. Following a total refurbishment, the Mariners relaunched soon after. That year, Paul and Emma also completed Mahé, an intimate private dining space that adjoins CiCi’s Bar at No6. It’s named after the island in the Seychelles where Paul’s parents met and acts as the development kitchen for No6; the home to their Chef’s Table experience; and the Ainsworth Collection’s Cookery School.
Paul has appeared on various TV chef and cooking programmes including BBC2’s Great British Menu, in which he won the south west regional heat in 2011. In 2018 he won Best Chef at the GQ Food and Drink Awards and he’s celebrated two prestigious wins at The Catey’s – Independent Restaurateur of the Year and the coveted Chef Award.
Together, Paul and Emma support many charities. In April 2019, Paul ran the Virgin Money London Marathon, raising over £43,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in honour of his late father. In 2020, the couple helped raise £2.5m to buy a new, state-of-the-art helicopter for the Cornwall Air Ambulance.