BY NICOLE MC DERMOTT
Executive Chef Patricia Gamez loves to cook with the freshest food possible. “When I worked in California, I worked very closely with a number of local farms. I went out while they were working and got a real feel for rhythm of the plants, the soil and the rain. The seasonality of farm fresh food is important, even these days.” Although many vegetables are available all year round, the taste of them is not usually improved by traveling long distances. “Fresh and local is the way to go for the best taste possible.”
Chef Gamez has brought her extensive experience and love of fresh food to Deerfield Beach recently. She’s the Executive Chef of Chanson, the upscale restaurant inside one of Deerfield’s most exclusive hotels. Chanson is located in the Royal Blues Hotel, on Deerfield Beach just south of the International Fishing Pier.
“We’re not a normal restaurant at a hotel on the beach.” Chef Gamez explained. “There’s a finer side of Deerfield Beach, and we’re hoping to bring that out with Royal Blues and the Relais & Chateaux brand.” Relais & Chateaux is an international brand of luxury properties. Royal Blues is their only property in South Florida. The hotel boasts a sophisticated style with an interesting exterior and a truly gorgeous lobby. Each room is individually appointed with a focus on modern photography and art.
Chanson also features striking design elements, including a spectacular glass, floor-to-ceiling wine wall refrigerator with an exceptional selection of wines. A huge aquarium in the ceiling, offers diners a scenic fish tank with colorful corals and marine life. There is also a panoramic view of Blue Wave award-winning Deerfield Beach.
The plating of each of Chef Gamez’s meals are as beautiful as the surroundings.
Chef Gamez has found a few local farms to work with, which was more of a challenge in suburban South Florida than in Southern California, where she had worked previously. “I’ve been going to this great little farm in Dania Beach and buying vegetables directly from them.” She features the freshest food possible. Locally sourced seafood and vegetables are the cornerstone of the seasonally evolving menu. Her current favorite item features the tastes of Spring on the coast.
“It’s a red snapper served with roasted carrots and black mint on a green pea sponge. It’s fresh and fun and very Spring. I love it.” Each of her meals is plated to perfection – this one features broth poured tableside.
The attention the Chef and her team pay to each of these meals is evident in every fantastically plated dish that leaves the kitchen. Each meal is as delicious as it is lovely, with the freshness of each ingredient showcased.
Chanson, with its extensive wine cellar, also has a bar that features a unique collection of hand-crafted cocktails. There is a Happy Hour in the Wine Lounge and on the terrace from Tuesday through Saturday from 4-7 p.m. Happy Hour features weekly specials as well as a lounge/tapas menu.
An evening at Chanson is a special event, with an ambiance and taste that cannot be matched in the area. “I love the ocean,” said Chef Gamez. “Looking at it, playing in it, using seaweed and seafood from it in my food – all of it. Deerfield Beach is a beautiful location, right on the water. It offers beautiful access to all of the best parts of the ocean. I want to share that with our diners and visitors.” She’s doing an amazing job.
Chanson is open for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. Sunday Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Royal Blues Hotel and Chanson are located at 45 NE 21st Ave, Deerfield Beach, 33441. They do offer tasting menus and occasional special events. Reservations recommended 954-857-2929.