Meet Council Oak’s Chef de Cuisine: Francisco Pomalaza

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures but for Francisco Pomalaza, food IS life’s greatest pleasure. A chef by day, and by night, meet Council Oak Steak’s & Seafood’s Chef de Cuisine, Chef Cisco.

A Florida native with a Peruvian heritage, Chef Cisco grew up in Miami beginning his culinary journey at the age of 15. Starting off working the wok station at a buffet in Miami, he was able to get his feet wet and learn the basics – how to work with fire and mix ingredients. Working his way out of trouble and acquainting himself with the restaurant life, he slowly grew an appreciation for the art that is cooking.

Fast forward a few years and Cisco had developed a love for culinary so strong that he began to train at culinary school in Miami. Nearing the end of his first semester, on his way to his first final exam, Cisco was in a car accident that permanently scarred his right hand. The car flipped 8 times with his hand out of the window, damaging tendons and muscles crucial for hand mobility. Doctors told him he would never be a chef.

But, there’s very little that stamina and passion can’t overcome. After 2 years of daily physical therapy, Cisco returned to culinary school strong attending Johnson & Wales and working in his first fine dining venue, Talula in South Beach. Owned by Andrea Curto-Randazzo, a competitor in Top Chef Season 7, he trained under her supervision and acquired a taste of the fine dining life and couldn’t get away.

Now Chef de Cuisine at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, Chef Cisco manages a team of over 20 chefs and also the creation of new menus items. He’s motivated by the art of food and teaching others.

“It’s not just about creating a dish, it’s about creating a complete dining experience for our guests and stimulating our team members’ passion for food, from start to finish”

-Francisco Pomalaza
Chef Cisco and Chef Frank Anderson from The Rez Grill, at
Tampa Bay Food Fight

There’s no question that food tastes better when there’s a chef who prepares your meal with love and passion. At Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, our biggest asset is our team and Chef Cisco is no exception. His drive to grow his team and determination to create beautiful and delicious meals is what Council Oak Steaks & Seafood is all about. Our 100% U.S.D.A. prime steaks are all dry-aged 21 to 28 days, cut to order from our very own on-site butcher shop. Our Alaskan King Crab legs are brought to you directly from the Bering Sea and our custom-designed saltwater tanks are keeping your live Maine lobsters fresh and waiting for you to order.

“We create our menus much like a musician composes a song. The components in food are savory, sweet, acidic & spicy. Like the notes on a sheet of music, every note is a flavor, an aroma, a spice and a color that all work together in symphony. When they’re perfectly balanced, you know you’ve created a beautiful dish, much like a musical masterpiece.”

-Fransisco Pomalaza

Chef Cisco has recently launched a new menu that is featured exclusively for Social Hour daily from 4pm – 6pm in the Council Oak Lounge. Including dishes from the land and sea, pair these dishes with a cocktail from our Social Hour menu. Try them out and if you catch Cisco at Council Oak, make sure to say hello.