Larry LaValley - Executive Chef and Assistant General Manager
Larry LaValley is the executive chef and assistant general manager at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. He joined the resort in 2011 as executive chef of 3800 Ocean, a AAA Four Diamond-rated fine-dining restaurant that has flourished under his leadership, and added the responsibilities of assistant general manager in 2011.
LaValley was previously in Miami, where he served most recently as executive sous chef of the Regent Bal Harbour and culinary director of operations for the innovative DM8+R restaurant group. His career moved him to Miami in 2002, training under James Beard award-winning chef Mark Militello and ultimately stepping into the role of executive chef at Militello’s critically acclaimed Mark’s South Beach.
Armed with a degree from The Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park, from which he graduated at the top of his class in 2000, LaValley moved to Chambery, France, to complete a stagier under master chef Jean Michel Bouvier. Bouvier’s farm-to-table ethos and impromptu feasts would later inspire LaValley to introduce the exclusive Kitchen Table – a chef-driven, five-course dining experience limited to groups of no more than five guests – at 3800 Ocean.
During his student years at CIA, LaValley spent his weekends in New York City to learn from the best in the business: Daniel Boulud at Daniel; Union Pacific with Rocco Dispirito; Oceana with Rick Moonen; Aquavit with Marcus Samuelsson; and Bouley Bakery with David Bouley.
LaValley credits his Long Island, New York roots, for his love of food. There, he spent his childhood fishing on the Long Island Sound, dining on fresh produce from his grandfather’s local farm stand, and sharing his mother’s passion for the cultural flavors of Naples, Italy.
Brittani Szczecina - Executive Pastry Chef
Brittani Szczecina is the executive pastry chef at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. The native Floridian, who joined the resort in 2014, is responsible for the dessert menus for 3800 Ocean, the Palm Beach Marriott’s signature restaurant, as well as its casual dining outlets.
Szczecina was previously pastry chef brigade for The Breakers Palm Beach, marking her return to her home state after seven years in North Carolina, where she most recently served as executive pastry chef for Mez, a fine-dining restaurant in Charlotte. Before that, she managed La Gemma’s Fine Italian Pastries in Wilmington, an experience that stoked her passion for traditional Italian pastries and bread-making.
A graduate of The Art Institute in Charlotte, Szczecina began her career as a pastry chef for Myers Park Country Club while completing her studies. She was a member of the institute’s culinary competition team, placing silver in the ACF Certified Student Hot Foods Competition and best in show at the portfolio showcase.
Szczecina was born and raised in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Matthew Barna - Executive Sous Chef
Matthew Barna is executive sous chef at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. He brings more than 15 years of experience to his work in the kitchens of the acclaimed 3800 Ocean restaurant and lounge as well as the resort’s casual dining outlets.
Barna joined Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island in 2013. The resort’s focus on locally farmed products has taken the chef back to his own small-town farming roots, before he launched a culinary journey that has spanned some of the nation’s top kitchens on both coasts.
Most recently, Barna served as a sous chef at Emeril LaGasse’s eponymous restaurants in Charlotte, Orlando, and Miami Beach. There, the world-famous chef further sparked Barna’s passion for fine dining and taught him about layering flavors.
Barna was previously a saucier for Catering by Windows, a high-end catering company in Washington, D.C. He worked elite events from private VIP parties to President George W. Bush’s 2nd term inaugural party. Barna earlier honed his skills in the kitchens of the four-star French Bistro Pamplemousse Grille in San Diego, and two critically acclaimed Atlanta institutions: Guenter Seeger’s Mobile Five-Star restaurant, Seeger’s, and Canoe with Chef Gary Mennie.
Barna attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. and spent his internship in Philadelphia with the Main St. Restaurant Group. He graduated from CIA in 1998.
A native of Waymart, Pennsylvania, Barna grew up on a family farm, raising cows for beef and harvesting produce from the family gardens.