Ryan Fisch, Chef de Cuisine
Following nearly three years serving as Banquet Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, Ryan Fisch has been appointed to Chef de Cuisine of Burlock Coast. Fisch, who held some of the highest food quality scores across the company in 2018 and 2019, has transitioned back into the restaurant that he helped re-brand and re-open to work under the direction of Executive Chef Paula DaSilva. In this role, his responsibilities include working alongside the restaurant’s culinary team to create inventive, refined farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on local seafood.
A graduate of Johnson and Wales University with a degree in culinary arts, Fisch continued his education at Florida International University where he earned a second degree in hospitality management. His culinary career began working alongside renowned Chef Michelle Bernstein at Michy’s in North Miami. His next role landed him at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale in 2012 where he started as a cook at Via Luna Restaurant, the restaurant that previously occupied the space where Burlock Coast is currently. From there, Fisch worked his way up the ladder to hold several positions at Burlock Coast including Junior Restaurant Chef and Senior Restaurant Chef before transitioning into the role of Banquet Chef for the property. In his career, Fisch also had the opportunity to open The West Hollywood Edition Hotel in California in the role of Banquet Chef where he oversaw all food operations for the property.
An East Coast native, Fisch has always fostered a passion for food and an unabating desire to learn. His love for cooking was nurtured during his childhood in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where his home was filled with the comforting scents of roasted peppers and garlic on the weekends. Memories of his grandmother’s Sicilian pizza dough left to rise on top of the family dryer and his grandfather’s lobsters running wild on the floor of the Italian household, led Fisch to pursue his very own culinary dream.
Jira Baird, Pastry Chef
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale has appointed Jira Baird as Pastry Chef of the luxury property. A native of Bangkok, Thailand, Baird is influential in the creation, design and production of the venue’s refined desserts and plays an essential role in the overall culinary operations for resort.
Discovering her passion for cooking at an early age, Baird enrolled in Vo-tech School, which introduced her to the trade prior to studying culinary science, hotel management and hospitality in college. Following graduation, her first stint within the culinary world was in the role of a server at The Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok. It was here that she honed her English and tended to high end clientele. While working at the hotel, Baird was presented an opportunity to join the cruise industry, which led her on a global journey. Over the next five years, Baird worked in the front of house as a cocktail server and waitress while traveling the globe, where she gained experience in the realm of luxury travel and learned how to deliver the highest expectations of service.
Baird decided she missed dry land and moved to South Florida in 1997 where she met her husband and joined the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort and Spa. It was her first encounter in a pastry kitchen and thus a pivotal moment in her career. She realized that she had found her true passion in life, and quickly moved up the ranks to Executive Pastry Chef. This journey took Baird to a number of properties where she gained an abundance of experience holding Pastry Chef roles at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, MGM Casino Biloxi, Universal Orlando, Loews Miami South Beach, Mar- A -Lago, Club Med, Addison CC, Naples Yacht and The Breakers.
Baird’s training and certifications include Working Pastry Chef by the American Culinary Federation; Food Safety Manager by The National Registry of Food Safety Professional; Food Allergy & Gluten Intolerance Safety Awareness Training by Allergy Free Table. In 2008, she was nominated as Manager of the Quarter by Loews Portofino Bay Hotel as well as nominated for Universal Orlando Manager by Loews Miami Beach Hotel in 2014.
Through perseverance and dedication, Baird brings a wealth of culinary knowledge from the hospitality industry to The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale’s talented team while holding to her success principle, “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does, that’s what makes you a winner. If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.”