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.
Brooke Mallory, Chef de Cuisine
Hailing from the Midwest, Mallory began her life in the culinary industry working at a seafood restaurant in Northern Michigan. It was during this time that she decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts and enrolled in the Great Lakes Culinary Institute.
After attaining a culinary degree, Mallory accepted a position at 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale where she honed her skills under acclaimed chefs Dean James Max and Paula DaSilva. Looking for a change in scenery, Mallory packed her knives and moved to Ohio where she introduced South Florida-inspired cuisine at another Dean Max destination restaurant, AMP 150 in Cleveland. Later, she worked side by-side with Chef Brad Phillips at Asador Restaurant in Dallas. The duo collaborated on a menu that combined the styles and flavors of the Midwest, the South, and the Southwest before returning to 3030 Ocean where she became Sous Chef under executive chef Adrienne Grenier.
Mallory now joins Burlock Coast at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, working once again under the direction of Paula DaSilva, the property’s Executive Chef. Mallory works with the culinary team to create inventive, refined farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on local seafood. A self-described “drink nerd” and cocktail enthusiast, she finds there is beauty and charm in the art of mixology. In fact, in the past, Mallory has jumped behind the bar from time-to-time to concoct her own creative libations to pair with some of her delectable dishes.
Christian Velez, Pastry Chef
Christian Velez, newly appointed Pastry Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale’s waterfront restaurant Burlock Coast, brings a wealth of culinary knowledge from the hospitality industry to the beloved seafood eatery.
A graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with a degree in Baking and Pastry, Velez has a proven track record and the ability to manage a strong team while maintaining exceptionally high culinary industry standards.
With over a decade of experience in the pastry industry, Velez has held the title of Pastry Chef at a number of reputable hotels and resorts across South Florida. Velez began his career at Gianni’s at the Versace Mansion on Miami Beach producing holiday and banquet dessert menus along with developing a new amenities program for the restaurant and hotel. The experience he gained led him to his next position at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino located in Hollywood, Florida where he served as Assistant Pastry Chef and managed a team of fifteen and oversaw seven outlets ranging from fast-casual to fine dining. The property was going through a large expansion so it was there that Velez really gained experience in recipe development, staff training and on-boarding a new team.
From there, Velez continued his pastry career at the esteemed L'Atelier by world renowned Joël Robuchon. There he serviced pastry and dessert needs for two locations and was instrumental in banquet events.
Velez has a love for film and art which he applies to the visual aspects of his craft. Now at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and Burlock Coast he will continue to be influential in the creation, design and production of the resorts refined desserts.