Larry LaValley - Assistant General Manager
Larry LaValley credits his Long Island, New York roots for fueling his passion for and love of food. He fished on the Long Island Sound, grew up on fresh produce from his grandfather’s local farm stand and shared his mother’s passion for the cultural flavors of Naples, Italy. Since then, his culinary journey has taken him through many great restaurants and given him the opportunity to sample some creative and authentic regional fare from multiple cultures.
LaValley graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY at the top of his class in 2000. During his schooling, he spent weekends in New York City, learning from the best in the business: Daniel Boulud at Daniel, Rocco Dispirito at Union Pacific, Rick Moonen at Oceana, Marcus Samuelson at Aquavit, and David Bouley of Bouley Bakery. After graduation, he went to Chambery, France to complete a stagier under Master Chef Jean Michel Bouvier, who used ingredients straight from his parent’s farm. LaValley’s return to the United States led him to his first executive chef position with James Beard winner Mark Militello at Mark’s South Beach in Miami.
From there, LaValley honed his culinary skills as the executive sous chef at the five-star, five-diamond Regent Bal Harbour and as culinary director of operations for the innovative DMR restaurant group.
Now at the helm of 3800 Ocean, our popular restaurant near Palm Beach, LaValley oversees all operations and works diligently with his team to ensure that their passion for cooking and customer service is on full display.
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.