Pier House Resort & Spa in Key West, Florida appoints new executive chef Maria Manso
Pier House Resort & Spa, an adventurous haven presenting classic Key West charm with a storied past, welcomes Maria Manso as the new executive chef. Overseeing all food and beverage for multiple resort venues, Manso brings more than two decades of epicurean expertise to lead the resort’s waterfront dining restaurants, catering service and in-room dining.
“Chef Manso’s culinary pursuits have landed her in various kitchens across the world,” says Joe Dantoni, general manager Pier House Resort & Spa. “Not only does she bring a wealth of cultural experience to Pier House, but a passion for preparing traditional Key West fare with her own spin.”
As one of seven children in her household, Cuban-born Manso naturally developed the art of cooking at a young age. Officially beginning her career in 1983 as an oyster shucker in New Orleans, La., Manso was later mentored by Chef Dick Brennan, Jr., during the opening of his restaurant, Palace Caf?. With the urge to return to her Miami roots, Manso joined Norman Van Aken to open his first restaurant at the Betsy Ross Hotel on Ocean Drive as well as his next venture, Van Dome. In 1995 she was appointed sous chef of China Grill Miami before being promoted to executive chef. After completion of an extensive training program for the Morgans Hotel Group, Manso was named executive chef of Asia de Cuba of the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, Cali. She soon pursued her dreams of opening her own restaurant, “Maria Manso World Cuisine,” where she received critical acclaim for her creative cuisine, before ultimately returning to Miami where she lead the legendary Blue Door restaurant of The Delano South Beach.
Manso’s taste for adventure led her to Italy and Spain as a private chef, before finding her place in Key West at Bagatelle. Chef aims to provide a flavorful dining experience utilizing the freshest island tastes and local ingredients at HarbourView Caf? and Beach Bar and Grille.
“I’ve found my home in Key West, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than introducing diners to new dishes,” comments Chef Maria Manso, Pier House Resort & Spa. “Pier House has created such a loyal following with their guests, and I look forward to applying that same level of service and inspired cuisine throughout our restaurants.”
Situated in a prime location on the resort, HarbourView Caf? provides breathtaking views of both the Gulf of Mexico and the resort’s private, white sand beach. Guests enjoy open-air dining on the deck or opt for the indoor dining room to savor breakfast, lunch or dinner. Beach Bar and Grille presents a low-key dining spot for visitors to enjoy a tropical drink or a bite to eat when beachfront activities work up an appetite.