Hell's Kitchen 5 - Chef Paula DaSilva Interview

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PAULA DASILVA.jpg
This season FOX's smash reality hit Hell's Kitchen 5 features 3 Florida Chef's, Paula DaSilva is one of them. Paula works as Chef De Cuisine at 3030 Ocean at the Marriot's Harbor Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale. I spoke to her via telephone and here's what she had to say.

"I grew up in the business. I'm Brazilian and my parents owned three Churrascaria style restaurants. I graduated high school and went to culinary school at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. I got a job at the Marriot when I was 19 and the opened 3030 Ocean with Chef Dean Max.

It's hard to find good places to eat here..they're few and far between. I like....
Michael's Genuine down in Miami, Lemon Grass [Asian Bistro] in Ft. Lauderdale, no one in particular, I like to try and dabble here and there, Todd English, wherever the new It spot is, I try and support local chefs."

"This is all so new to me, I'm kinda just going with whatever happens. I'm kind of quiet by nature and don't like tension so it'll be interesting to see how that pans out. We're having a show premier party at the Marriott, I haven't seen any edits of the show, so I'll be seeing it for the first time just like everybody else in America."

"They've done casting in Ft. Lauderdale before. I went and auditioned the first time and didn't make the cut. I mean, you see the people that do these shows and think 'they're completely ridiculous, I can do better than that.' And my cooks wanted me to go on there so bad so they could see me get yelled at. So I tried out again and met the casting directors and just went on from there."

"I do yell. There's pressure, heat, a lot going on, the pressure is high, I hold myself and the people I work with to high standards, if there's problems then it's nothing personal, it's just the nature of the business. There's plenty of drama going on during filming because there's so many different personalities and we all think we're better than each other."

"It's a competition, I made friends there that I think I'll have for life, but while you're in there, you're competing."

"They built a set just for Hell's Kitchen in Los Angeles. It was in a huge warehouse and the set was downstairs and the dorms were upstairs. Imagine having your living quarters right above where you work. There's cameras everywhere, not cameramen, just those little spot cameras, you're on camera 24 hours a day. We didn't really get to go anywhere. We were always busy so we just ate whatever we could whenever we could. We had our own personal shopper and we could buy whatever we wanted, but we didn't have time, so we had to eat fast. I ate a lot of turkey sandwiches and cereal. A lot of people had the freezer stocked and they were just constantly going in there and microwaving stuff. The eating was the worst."

"Gordon Ramsey is intense and crazy, that's just how he is, it's not acting, but when we were outside of the kitchen, he's a normal guy...like a big kid, joking around. He's still intense as hell and very passionate, but he's not mean when we're not cooking. When you're at work it's different, but when the jacket comes off, we're all just normal people."

"I would go on tv again, I don't know if I'd do something like that, but I would love to do a cooking show."

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