Executive Chef Paula DaSilva The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
Since she first came on the South Florida dining scene in 2000, Chef Paula DaSilva has been a culinary darling; first as a rising star and later as an executive chef and one of the areas foremost talents in the realm of soulful, farm fresh cuisine. A member of the The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale culinary team since 2017, initially as Chef de Cuisine of its acclaimed restaurant Burlock Coast, DaSilva now serves as Executive Chef of the entire property.
A native of Brazil, DaSilva attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts in 1999. After graduating, she joined the Marriott organization in a kitchen position at 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale under Chef Dean James Max. Years of hard work and training paid off when DaSilva auditioned for and earned a slot on Season 5, in 2009, of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey; she finished as the season’s runner-up and fan favorite, cementing her place as one of Florida’s celebrity chefs. After the show her profile skyrocketed and, in 2010, DaSilva took her talents to South Beach as the executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the illustrious Eden Roc Hotel.
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” as well as a Semifinalist nomination in 2012 for “Best Chef: South” by the esteemed James Beard Foundation. DaSilva returned to 3030 Ocean as executive chef for a quick stint, then in 2017, DaSilva joined The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, helming Burlock Coast, heralded by many as one of Fort Lauderdale’s finest dining destinations.
In 2017 the chef won top prize at Cochon 555, going on to represent South Florida at the national Grand Cochon competition. She has served for many years on the Chef Council for the annual Taste of the Nation fundraiser for Feeding South Florida; is the current Culinary Chair for Junior Achievement’s Uncorked event; works closely with the Foodservice Council for Women (FSCW); as well as Women of Food + Beverage, a council established by Marriott International to help highlight women in the industry. In 2019 she was nominated for the J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence, the company’s most prestigious award for dedication to service.