For over two decades as a chef and restaurateur, the artistry and sustainability of food defined Ron Paul’s professional identity. While some would have argued in the late 1970s that food was not a bona fide art form, the public’s perception has now shifted to acknowledge the merits of that claim, as well as to fully recognize the role culinary artistry plays in the national economy and ecology.

In the public sphere, his work with the City of Portland engaged him at the intersection of politics and policy. As chief of staff to then-Commissioner Charlie Hales, he convened a diverse group that began the effort to develop The James Beard Public Market, a year-round, food-focused venue that will re-connect with Portland’s long tradition of Public Markets ( He also participated in shaping the city’s arts policies and funding decisions; in that role he coordinated the city’s lobbying for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust and now serves as chair of the Oregon Arts Commission.

In the city’s Bureau of Planning and then in the Office of Sustainable Development for three years, he continued to advocate for the Public Market, sustainable development policies for urban food and agriculture projects as well as citywide arts and culture planning.

Now as a private consultant and self-described civic entrepreneur, he continues his efforts to create a Public Market for Portland while working with other public and private clients throughout the country who are engaged in planning Public Markets and other sustainable food enterprises. His bias is for food systems and cultural planning to advance to the same level that other environmental planning has already achieved. He calls it "habitat for urbanity."

He has written articles, lectured and presented at conferences throughout the world on local foods and public markets.


Ron Paul Consulting works with public and private clients at the intersection of politics and policy. Projects include:

  • Public Market planning that involves galvanizing community support, cultivating local, regional and federal officials, economic analysis, program development and fund raising
  • Economic revitalization projects focusing on local and sustainable foods as tools for job and wealth creation. These include urban reclamation sites, intensive rooftop agriculture, food shed analysis, specialized food processing and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture)
  • Restaurant and food service consulting with start ups and established chains; concept and menu design, staffing, sales and marketing strategies.
  • Public involvement and advocacy; working with private developers and community groups to promote their sustainable development policies
  • Speaking and writing as an effective communicator for Public Markets and other sustainable development projects

Sample Client List:

  • The Historic Portland Public Market Foundation
  • Burgerville Restaurants
  • New Seasons Markets
  • ConWay
  • Oregon City Golf Club dba Thimble Creek Development
  • Beam Development
  • Portland Public Schools Foundation
  • Clear Creek Distillery