Fort Lauderdale, FL – December 17, 2018Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach today announced the appointment of Kevin Baker as restaurant chef. In his new role, Baker will drive the development of the hotel’s innovative Caribbean-American fusion concept, Steelpan, a kitchen & bar, spearheading the menu creation and putting an authentic twist on South Florida cuisine. Drawing upon his global cooking influences, Baker will craft a delicious and fresh combination of multicultural island flavors to please the palates of even the most discerning guests.

“We searched extensively for an ideal candidate to fill this role. It was very important for us to find someone who had a diverse background and a passion for driving a fresh and creative menu,” said Eduardo Fernandez, general manager of Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach. “Our team has worked tirelessly to bring Steelpan, a kitchen & bar, to life and had high expectations for the person who will lead the charge. Chef Kevin’s leadership experience and unique approach make him a perfect fit for this role.  We have full confidence in his vision for the restaurant’s future.”

A native of Jamaica, Kevin Baker (pictured left) discovered his passion for food early on, with childhood memories of enjoying curry goat and jasmine rice. As he grew older, so did his enthusiasm for food, and he dedicated his time to exploring the world and cultivating his craft. With herbs and spices from the Caribbean and rich sauces from France serving as inspiration, Baker has broadened his technique by sampling authentic foods from around the world and understanding that a meal can reflect an entire culture. With an unending passion for his craft, Baker transformed his love for food into a career. Baker studied charcuterie at the Rockford Vocation Heart School before further developing his craft as a line cook. His enthusiasm for bringing joy to his guests fueled his career in the culinary world, as he has worked in many kitchens throughout Florida. Most recently he was lured to the sunny shores of Pompano Beach, where he served as the executive sous chef for The Foundry.

Steelpan will serve a dynamic menu influenced by the multicultural island flavors of South Florida, including fresh twists on regional treasures.  The oceanfront restaurant will feature indoor/outdoor seating for guests to soak in the hotel’s stunning views, and will evolve into a vibrant and interactive gathering place as the day and menu turn.  The all-day menu features an assortment of seafood-centric starters, or “beach bites,” such as ahi tuna poke with cucumber, avocado, wakame salad, macadamia nuts and Mandarin sesame ginger dressing; Red Stripe clams with garlic, shallots, chorizo sausage in a Red Stripe curry and lime broth served with grilled Cuban bread; and crab and corn chowder served in a coconut curry broth. Entrée highlights include the jerk chicken sandwich served with grilled pineapple, avocado, chipotle mayonnaise and onion and bacon jam on a pineapple bun; the whole-baked snapper (pictured above) wrapped in a banana leaf and served with mixed potatoes and quick-pickled vegetables; and the guava-braised short ribs served with Peruvian garlic potatoes and jicama slaw.

Slated to open in January, the restaurant will unveil a full menu of new and innovative dishes, craft cocktails, rum flights and signature drinks.

Reservations will be available soon.  To stay in the loop on Steelpan news, or for more information, visit and follow the restaurant on Instagram @SteelpanFTL.

About Steelpan

Launching in January 2019, Steelpan at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach is introducing a fresh, CaribbeanAmerican menu with appetizers, small bites, entrees and island bowls influenced by the multicultural island flavors of South Florida.  With an inventive spin on familiar favorites, the celebration of the region’s cuisine and culture extends to Steelpan’s drink menu, boasting eclectic and innovative tropical cocktails and rum runners alongside an extensive wine list. Located within Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach, the restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, featuring sweeping views of the famous Fort Lauderdale Beach and unique design concepts to create an upbeat and lively ambiance.

About Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach

Recipient of TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach features 240 guest rooms including 23 spectacular suites, boasting panoramic views of the seven-mile stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Intracoastal Waterway. Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach provides a new level of hospitality to the Fort Lauderdale market by offering travelers a sense of place, not just a place to stay. Catering to both business and leisure travelers, the hotel is centrally located on the corner of Sunrise

Boulevard and A1A, only 8 miles from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and just minutes from the Las Olas Arts & Entertainment District and Port Everglades.  Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach offers an authentic, local experience to guests and locals alike, brought to life through the brand’s signature Food is Art, Liquid Art and Daily Delights programs.

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Media Contact: 

Courtney Merolle

954-716-7614, [email protected]