“They could crack an egg by themselves when they were two.”

That’s how Paul Allen proudly describes the cooking ability of his daughters, Norah (8) and Azrah (6).

It’s clear Paul believes in getting his offspring started early.

Paul is a world class chef, having cooked his way around the world on yachts owned by the rich and famous. He trained at The Culinary Institute of America and is a former Ritz-Carlton chef. There's no question that he knows his way around a kitchen.

These days, though, Paul makes his home in Springfield, Missouri where he focuses his energies on Farm 2 Counter, a business providing fresh, homegrown food on a weekly basis to persons living in 13 cities in southwest Missouri. Every Friday customers receive a small, medium or larger personalized delivery of locally grown or locally produced meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

​“You usually can’t taste the difference between organic and non-organic food, but you can tell when something is fresh and in season from something similar you might buy at the store.” And, Paul insists, fresh foods make all the difference as the basis for a good meal. It’s something he learned scouring local food sources in various ports of call in faraway places.

“Whenever the ship docked,” he explained, “I always made a point of going on shore and exploring the fruits and vegetables grown there.”

Today, cooking is a family affair. When Paul’s wife, Ashley isn’t caring for Lilly, their eight-month-old daughter, she cooks as well. In fact, these days the entire family often gathers in the kitchen spending time with the people they love most, making a meal they can enjoy together.

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