Chef de Cuisine Paula DaSilva
South Florida culinary darling Paula DaSilva now helms the kitchen of Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale as Chef de Cuisine. Known for her remarkable talent, imaginative farm fresh dishes rich with the flavors and freshness of South Florida’s abundant flora and fauna. DaSilva will treat guests to a dining experience in keeping with the standards that Burlock Coast is known for.
The Brazilian native’s love for cooking began at a young age working at her family-owned restaurants in Massachusetts and, later in South Florida. Eager to expand her culinary repertoire, DaSilva attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts.
DaSilva began her professional culinary career at 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriot under the tutelage of esteemed South Florida Chef Dean Max. It was around this time that DaSilva competed in the fifth season of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey and finished as the season’s runner-up and fan favorite, cementing her place as one of Florida’s celebrity chefs. In 2010, DaSilva took her talents to South Beach as the executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the illustrious Eden Roc Hotel. The chic farm-to-table concept earned rave reviews and popular acclaim for its soulful, seasonal, rustic cuisine – which have now become synonymous with DaSilva’s style of cooking. Her culinary skills at 1500 Degrees earned massive praise and wide-ranging appeal, including a nod from Esquire magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants in America.” A couple years later, DaSilva’s career came full circle when she returned to 3030 Ocean as executive chef. During her second stint there, DaSilva revitalized the menu, injecting her now-signature soulful cooking style into the restaurant’s seafood-centric menu. After leaving 3030 Ocean for the second time, the culinary powerhouse took some well-deserved time off to travel.
Prior to joining the Burlock Coast team, DaSilva served as executive chef and simultaneously oversaw all food & beverage operations for Artisan Beach House at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami.
Jean-Pierre Belonni, Head Bartender
Jean-Pierre Belonni, Head Bartender at Burlock Coast located at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, has over ten years of experience behind the bar. Originally from Puerto Rico, Belonni attended the University of Puerto Rio Piedras from 2004 to 2007, pursuing a career in music education in addition to competing as a professional volleyball player. However, after a knee injury prevented him from continuing to compete in volleyball, Belonni decided to switch paths and enter the hospitality industry.
In 2007, he enrolled in the University of Puerto Rico Carolina for hotel and restaurant administration – bartending on the side and attending classes to improve his mixology skills. He fell in love with bartending and decided to pursue it as a career upon graduation. Over the next few years, he perfected his bartending craft working at esteemed hotels like the Wyndham Garden Palmas del Mar Hotel and Marriott Courtyard Isla Verde.
A natural talent and competitor, Belonni’s friends talked him into participating in the Puerto Rico Bartender Association’s annual bartender competition in 2008. Although he didn’t win, it was there that he was introduced to art the of flair bartending – deciding to adopt this skill to take his mixology game to the next level. He was eventually recognized for his talent by fellow mixologist Manuel Picon Delgado, and was asked to join the flair bartending crew Flip-N-Flow.
In 2013, Belonni migrated to Miami in pursuit of new opportunities – accepting a position as Lead Bartender for Papaya Pool Bar at the Marriott Villas Vacation Club. Shortly thereafter, he went on to serve as Restaurant Supervisor and Bartender for Deco Blue Restaurant at the Marriott Stanton South Beach, where he oversaw the training of staff, maintained the budget and assisted in the creation of cocktail menus.
Now, as Head Bartender for the seaside eatery Burlock Coast, Belonni applies his skillset in flair bartending and mixology to craft innovative cocktails that pair perfectly with the restaurant’s seafood centric cuisine.