Paul Elbling was born August 1940 in Alsace, France. In 1953 Paul started a three year apprenticeship, after which he began getting practical experience by working in several well known places including the Summer Season at the famous Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France. From September 1959 through August 1962, Elbling was in the French Army during the Algerian War. In 1962 he became Chef at the Das Alten Golden Kreutz in the posh resort city of Baden-Baden, Germany. In 1964 Chef Paul received his European Master Chef Degree.
Paul married in France and came to the United States in 1967 where he served as Chef in the Restaurant Chez Francois in Washington, D.C. Later he served as Executive Chef in the Washington Hotel until 1970 when Chef Paul moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he was owner and Executive Chef of La Petite France.