Delivering culinary experiences from around the world

Growing up, Paul Steele admired his mother’s and grandfather’s cooking as he cooked alongside them. Now, as the executive chef at Café Allegro, he is inspired by the museum’s representation of music from every corner of the globe. 

“With MIM’s monthly Signature Event weekends that feature themed food, it makes us cook out of our comfort zone while using ingredients that we may not use frequently,” Steele says. “Just as MIM’s mission statement is to provide culturally diverse instruments from around the world, I also want to be able to deliver culinary experiences from around the world.” 

Café Allegro executive chef Paul Steele

He loves the challenges that Signature Event weekends present and the opportunities they bring to use interesting and indigenous ingredients in global dishes. 

“My only big Signature Event weekend so far was Mexico,” Steele says. “I grew up in El Paso, Texas, so close to the border. Mexican food has been a staple in my life. Having the opportunity to make and serve Mexican cuisine during that weekend was an experience I loved.”

Steele is also looking forward to implementing creative and innovative techniques in the kitchen. For example, he has his eye on elevating MIM’s popular burgers.

“I want it to be the best burger anyone has had,” he says.

Like many of MIM’s staff and volunteers, Steele grew up playing instruments: violin, viola, cello, and trumpet. He loves playing music, and he also enjoys walking through the halls and seeing guests enjoying themselves through music. 

“At MIM, music is the language of the soul,” Steele says. “I would like food to be on the same level. Where, like music, food can be diverse and soulful, and have a common thread in society no matter where you’re from.”

Café Allegro’s MIM Deluxe Burger

Café Allegro’s Garden Green Salad