Chef Distilled

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Chef Distilled
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 2013
Founder Paul Menta
Tony Mantia
Headquarters Key West, Florida, U.S.
Area served
Products Rum
Website []

Chef Distilled is an American rum distillery founded in 2013[1] by Paul Menta in Key West, Florida in the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on 105 Simonton St.[2] The rum is distilled on site in two custom-made copper pot stills made by Vendome Copper and Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky.[3]

The distillery and methods of using the Key West heat, humidity and pressure temperature combinations to produce distinct flavors in the rum was featured on The Weather Channel with Jim Cantore which premiered the first day of the 2014 hurricane season.[4]

Distilling Philosophy[edit]

Paul Menta, a pro kite boarder,[5][6] acclaimed chef [7] and restaurateur of many Key West eateries [8][9] has established the Chef Distilled philosophy as “chef first, then distiller”.[10] With his culinary background, he compares similarities between healthy cooking and the spirit distilling process, the company prides itself in producing rums with only native Florida ingredients like unrefined Demerara sugar from Belle Glade, Florida, instead of molasses,[11] without any preservatives or artificial flavoring, the Chef’s flavored brands use whole vanilla bean stalks and real Key limes grown in the Florida Keys. The simplicity of ingredients and method of distilling six times and filtering out fusel oils that result in headaches[12] produces a cleaner rum.[13]


Key West First Legal Rum is the flagship 80-proof white rum that is brought out of the still at 147 proof with the lower proof giving it more flavor, the name pays tribute to the history of rum running and moonshiners that abounded in the Florida Keys during the prohibition era. White Light is a lighter clear rum that is distilled at a higher proof around 170 to start, which just like vodka gives it a light or neutral flavor, it is then cut with spring water to bring it to 90 proof.[14] The dark rums are brought out of American oak casks twice a year; the salt cured barrels are first soaked in ocean water taken directly from the nearby Simonton beach to give a unique local mineral flavor. Key West Raw and Unfiltered is 80-proof and 105 Simonton, whose name reflects both the distillery address and the proof of the spirit itself.[15] The Chef’s Rum line currently features the flavored rums Vanilla Brûlée Dark, Devils Rum, Mint, and Key Lime with Green Coconut, Glazed Pineapple, Duval St. Spiced Rum, Chocolate Soufflé and many more in the works through the federal label approval process.[16]

The distillery also produces homemade Key West sodas with unique and all natural flavorings like Strawberry Cream and Ginger Lime.

In addition to drinks Chef Distilled is producing a line of homemade all natural jarred goods including Key Lime Pie and a Rum Cake that both come sealed in a mason jar.


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  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-17.

External links[edit]