New Chef Brings Revamped Menu to Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island's 3800 Ocean

by Kristen Desmond LeFevre Apr 06, 2017 10:17 AM

Foodies take note: There’s a new chef in town, and he has replaced the tired menu of the signature restaurant at Singer Island’s most popular resort with plate after plate of exciting new flavor combinations. 

With its wide expanse of beach, its luxury suites, and its decadent spa, the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort is known to tourists and locals alike as a premier destination for an evening out or a weekend away. But the recent appointment of Gustavo Calderon as its executive chef is sure to make the tasty offerings on 3800 Ocean’s newly revamped menu the resort’s biggest draw of all.

With more than a decade of professional experience, Texas-born Calderon stands at the helm of what he refers to as a “collective kitchen,” driven by the diverse cultural backgrounds of a handful of chefs who bring their personal influences to bear on Florida’s extensive bounty of local ingredients. “We have this amazing seafood here,” Calderon says, “But more than just seafood, too. I am working to create relationships with local farmers, to serve what’s fresh and what tastes best.”

Before taking on the executive role on Singer Island, Calderon worked as a chef at several Ritz-Carlton properties, including stints in Bahrain and Cancun. Still, he’s no stranger to South Florida, having worked at the acclaimed Mark’s South Beach and The Regent Bal Harbor, where Calderon honed his skills under James Beard Award-winner Mark Militello. 

Fancy training aside, it’s the love of flavors that drives Calderon; a love that began in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant in Saltillo, Mexico, where he was first inspired by his grandmother’s mastery of Mexican cuisine.

Perhaps that’s where Calderon’s ability to marry seemingly disparate flavors into a truly special dish began. Today, his sense of taste and texture elevates what was a good menu at 3800 Ocean to a truly outstanding menu.

Try the Octopus Salpicon amuse bouche, a mix of tuna tartare and octopus dressed with pasilla pepper oil, aji amarillo, and avocado-cilantro sauce for a surprising and satisfying blend of Latin and Asian notes.

Locavores will be drawn to the Glades-grown Fried Green Tomato appetizer, topped with Florida-raised pork belly and local dayboat crab remoulade, smothered with smoked bacon and onion jam, and finished with a rum glaze. 

For elevated comfort food you’ll be talking about long after your plate has been cleared, go with the Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks entrée, set atop a decadent potato gnocchi made with sour cream-infused dough. “We braise that beef all night at 200 degrees,” Calderon says. And it shows in both texture and flavor.

Or skip the menu completely, and put your trust in Calderon at his exclusive five-seat "Kitchen Table"—a personalized five-course menu created on the spot by the executive chef and his team right before your eyes. “It’s different every time,” Calderon says. “That’s what makes it special.”

For $69 per person (cocktail and wine pairings are extra), it may be the best three hours you’ve spent in a kitchen—and you don’t have to do any cleanup.

"I’m so happy to be here. I mean, look at this place,” Calderon says, gesturing to the expansive ocean view that greets him from the open kitchen. “The minute I stepped into 3800 Ocean, I knew it was where I wanted to work."

The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island, 3800 N. Ocean Drive, Singer Island; 561.340.1700; palmbeachmarriottresort.com


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