Paula DaSilva talks BBQ, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Miami's role as a food town

Photo by Michael Pisarri

Brazilian native and Hell’s Kitchen alum Paula DaSilva has been become Miami culinary royalty since assuming the executive chef role at 1500° at Eden Roc. We spoke her about making great barbecue, wowing the crowd at Best of the Best and Miami’s place as a food town.

Catch DsSilva at Best of the Best and BBQ & The Blues

This is your first year participating in Best of the Best, what have you got planned?
Best of the Best is more elevated, you want to make something a bit more special and brings out your a-game. We’re going to stay away from things that are typical and are one step or two-step processes. I’m thinking braised short rib with potato foam, parsley salad and pickled onions.

How has Festival influenced Miami?
It just drives so many people here for that from all over the country and the world. It’s letting people know that Miami is being put on the map in the culinary world & that there’s a lot of local talent

Where does Miami stand as a food town?
Miami is just evolving so much in its culinary scene & trying to keep up with what the rest of the country. It’s such a melting pot here, there’s market out there for almost everything. I’ve been in South Florida for 18 years and it’s just grown so much, even in the last two years that I’ve been in Miami Beach. I think chefs from around the country are realizing that Miami is not saturated yet as some of the other national markets

What’s unique about being a chef in Miami?
As much as we try to grow, we are still a small community and we have a really tight chef bond. In the last two years I’ve made more chef friends than I have in ten years. It’s a supportive chef community – we’re not competing with one another, we’re friends.

You’re an unofficial host chef for BBQ & the Blues [at the Eden Roc] – what’s the secret to great BBQ?
Cooking it long enough. Most good barbecue need to braised or smoked or cooked for a very long time. You’ve got to be patient. You’ve got to have time – and a good sauce.


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