Hours of Operation: Dinner daily from 6:00pm - 10:00pm | Friday and Saturday 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Perla: Our People
Dayn Smith is the innovative Chef/Owner of Perla in San Juan. Perla is located in La Concha Hotel. The cuisine is “Urbane” - sophisticated and well traveled. Chef Smith focuses on preparing his dishes using a very refined palette of seasonings and sauces to enhance the best products the market can supply.
At Perla, Chef Smith is responsible for creating and implementing menus, training a culinary staff of 20, and developing the wine list (a passionate hobby). Perla offers an impressive 30 wines by the glass culled from a climate controlled cellar of 4000 bottles sporting 1,000 different labels. Chef Smith shares his love and knowledge of wine with the service staff in a mandatory weekly wine class.
Dayn Smith also owns the very successful Stingray Café and Ballyhoo Bar and Grill in El Conquistador Resort. He was the opening Executive Chef of El Conquistador Resort, responsible for a $ 30 million food and beverage operation. He was first promoted to Executive Chef at age 21 working for the United Nations Plaza Hotel in New York City. Since then, he has headed the kitchen at numerous world-class hotels and restaurants, including The St. Moritz, Le Beau Rivage Palace, The Detroit Plaza Hotel, the Michigan Inn, and the Condado Plaza.
Dayn Smith started his career at age 11 working in restaurants in and around his native Detroit home, as well as the Hillcrest Country Club. He then attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York graduating with high honors at the age of 19. He returned to the CIA numerous times for specialized training as well as attending a summer course at Cornell for management training. Chef Smith continues his education by traveling and studying around the world.
Chef Smith has been featured in numerous publications and TV shows. He garnered many gold and silver medals competing in American Culinary Federation, Caribbean Culinary Federation and the Culinary Olympics.
Dayn Smith lives in Puerto Rico and Virginia with his wife, Nancy and their four children. When Chef Smith is not cooking or collecting wine, he enjoys riding horses in Virginia, and scuba diving in Puerto Rico.