Paula DaSilva, Executive chef of 3030 Ocean
Why she’s in the Food 50: Paula DaSilva is cooking some of the best hotel-restaurant food in South Florida. Fifteen years after starting as a line cook at 3030 Ocean, DaSilva is now top chef at the modern American seafood restaurant in the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Her cooking displays elegance and finesse, and it reflects a true commitment to local purveyors and seasonality.
DaSilva, a native of Brazil and graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, learned the food business growing up in her family’s restaurants. She cooked alongside fish maestro Dean James Max for years at 3030 Ocean before jumping ship in 2010 to be executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. She lifted that restaurant from relative obscurity to prominence, earning it a spot in Esquire’s list of Best New Restaurants and herself a James Beard Best Chef: South nomination. When Max announced his departure in 2013, DaSilva returned to 3030 Ocean, this time as executive chef, and she’s made it better than ever. In a restaurant where entrées average about $40, DaSilva’s three- or five-course tasting menus ($48, $80) are more than smart values; they’re a steal.
Where to find her: 3030 Ocean, 3030 Holiday Dr., Fort Lauderdale.