Chef at: Burlock Coast and executive chef for the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale (1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.)
SOBEWFF Events: Best of the Best (Feb. 24) and Jazz Brunch with The Grey and Friends, hosted by Mashama Bailey (Feb. 26). The popular Best of the Best at Fontainebleau Miami Beach promises culinary stations as far as the eye can see—with samplings from more than 60 acclaimed chefs and 65 wineries. Bailey, a two-time James Beard Award winner, has brought together a group of standout chefs (including DaSilva) for a buffet-style brunch at Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
The Dish: DaSilva calls the tender rock shrimp salad with tostones among her favorites. She quickly poaches the shrimp in a court bouillon and mixes them with capers, citrus zest, Old Bay and dill aioli.
About Paula: The native of Brazil has emerged over the past two decades as one of Broward County’s most prominent chefs. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale grad honed her kitchen chops at 3030 Ocean inside Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc—and as runner-up on Season 5 of Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsey. DaSilva joined The Ritz’s culinary team in 2017 as chef de cuisine; she now oversees foodie operations for the entire property.
Looking Back: “One of my most fond memories was my time at 1500 Degrees in Miami Beach,” DaSilva says. “This was my first time for many things—including a position as executive chef, opening a restaurant, a James Beard nomination and earning many awards with one of the highest-performing and most passionate teams that I’ve worked with.”
Roll With the Changes: “My focus has shifted so much to providing comfort food—food that people can associate with and easily identify with no confusion.”
What Lights Her Fire: “My favorite dish to prepare right now is anything that includes mushrooms. They are so complex, but at the same time they can be easily manipulated to work into almost any dish—and they adapt to so many ingredients and spices. We cook them in so many different ways—braising, grilling, roasting.”
Festival Thoughts: “From an industry perspective, one of the best parts of SOBEWFF is being able to see my peers and getting to share some time together. Continuing to build camaraderie is very important to me.”
On the Horizon: DaSilva is stoked about Burlock Coast’s reimagined Wine Vault at The Ritz, which is set to become a speakeasy lounge “where guests can finish off their night with an old fashioned, a chocolate martini or a nice glass of red wine.”
Contact: 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/fort-lauderdale/dining
Photography by Eduardo Schneider