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Restaurant Team

Paula DaSilva, Executive Chef

South Florida culinary darling Paula DaSilva joined the team at Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale in Fall 2017 as Chef de Cuisine, bringing her imaginative farm fresh dishes rich with the flavors and freshness of South Florida’s abundant flora and fauna to the kitchen. Her immense talent and dedication to upholding the ‘Ritz-Carlton’ standard paid off when she was recently promoted to Executive Chef for the property, overseeing all culinary operations including banquets, in-room dining, pool and beach, while still overseeing the menu at Burlock Coast.

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 Marriott 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 Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale 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.

Carlos Salazar, Pastry Chef

Newly appointed pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale’s waterfront restaurant Burlock Coast, Carlos Salazar brings a wealth of culinary knowledge and upholds a refined career in the hospitality industry to the beloved seafood eatery.

A graduate of Miami-Dade College with a degree in Hospitality and concentration in Hotel Management, Salazar has a proven ability to manage a strong team at the exceptional standards held in the fast-paced culinary industry.

With years of experience in the pastry discipline, Salazar has held the title of Executive Pastry Chef at a number of reputable hotels and resorts across the country. Salazar began learning the ins and outs of working in a high-volume kitchen producing confections for the food and beverage program at the Grand Bay Hotel in his hometown of Miami. The experience he gained led him across the coast to his next position at the luxurious Fairmont San Francisco, where he served as Executive Pastry Chef and oversaw both the production and presentation of the finest confections for sophisticated clientele, including decadent cakes, pastries and other intricate desserts.

From there, Salazar went on to work at a bevy of renowned hotels and resorts including the Bellagio Resort and Casino Las Vegas, MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Ceasars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino,Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona.

Salazar’s passion for baking propelled him forward in his robust career and he will continue to be influential in the creation, design and production of The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale’s refined desserts.