Patricia Gamez, Executive Chef

Patricia Gamez joined Royal Blues Hotel in 2017 after being featured in fast-paced, creative kitchens in Boston, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Miami. As Executive Chef, Patricia oversees Relais & Chateaux’s first and only property, Chanson Restaurant in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Gamez honed her skills in time management and precision at Menton, in Boston. Under Chef Barbara Lynch, the kitchen team had to be on their game every night. It was there she encountered the Relais & Chateaux brand, what it entailed and the finer side of dining. It was love at first bite. As Chef de Partie, she fine-tuned her skills, whether it was executing exceptional knife cuts, baking perfect and perfectly delicious macarons, or cooking a Wagyu steak to the exact degree of medium rare. Working with Chefs Barbara Lynch, Colin Lynch, Kristen Kish and Scott Jones allowed Patricia the opportunity to see the different flavor profiles every chef brought to the plate.

While Sous Chef at James Republic in Long Beach, California, all her previous experience and hard work came together. Patricia worked a different station from one week to the next — at garde manger or the hot line or helping whichever prep station needed a steadying hand — and honed her scheduling, costing and inventory, and, thanks to Chef Dean Max and David MacLennan, her communication skills with colleagues as well as diners.

Patricia spent two years at the Le Cordon Bleu in Miami, but she traces her culinary roots to her family. “Growing up,” she says, “my mom didn’t like to cook all that much.

It was my father who stepped in, and I got used to helping out in the kitchen.” Summers she would go to Guatemala to visit her grandma; she watched the indigenous woman at the shop next door effortlessly bring masa and water together to make tortilla after tortilla, and when her pet duck ended up one sunny day in grandma’s stew pot, she was heartbroken. “But,” she insists, “I understood. One day I was feeding it and petting it and the next day it was dinner. I understood it was food from start to finish. It made sense.”

In her rise in the culinary field, Patricia has experienced a wide variety of locales, but it was California, she says, that really opened her eyes to what was possible in terms of the integrity of produce and protein. “I was spoiled,” she admits. “It was amazing to see where the food comes from and to get to know the people in the fields and farms.” And while she has experienced plenty of skepticism from her mostly male colleagues in her kitchens, she has found that simple excellence will always shine through. “The guys always like to think they are better than you, but I like to go toe to toe with them. I don’t have a problem showing them I can sling as well as they can. Or better.”

The next step in her evolution, Executive Chef at Chanson, is a golden opportunity to bring all her training, skills and culinary excitement together. “I really want to bring my perspective to what I’m doing in the kitchen,” she says. “I have this amazing opportunity to portray who I am as a chef through the food I create.” South Florida as a food scene is ripe for some fresh ideas, and Patricia aims to bring her considerable talent to the plate.