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Paula Cano, head chef at Carmello’s (photo courtesy of Carmello’s)

Paula Cano Named Head Chef At Carmello’s

Contributed by Carmello’s

Paula Cano, head chef at Carmello’s (photo courtesy of Carmello’s)
Paula Cano, head chef at Carmello’s (photo courtesy of Carmello’s)

Old Town Manassas Restaurant Promotes Paula Cano of Manassas, Va.

Paula Cano was recently named head chef of Carmello’s in Old Town Manassas. Hired by Carmello’s more than two years, Cano’s artistic passion for beauty and creativity showed through in the finest details of her dishes, which is how she claimed her spot as head chef of Carmello’s. A Colombian-native, Cano began with a love for art before she knew food was her real passion. As a graduate of Art Institute of Washington, D.C., she merged her two loves of food and art. Cano is currently designing Carmello’s winter menu. For more information, go to

“Cooking is really in the details…we can become so focused on the outcome, we forget about the details,” said Paula Cano, head chef of Carmello’s in Old Town Manassas, Va. “Good food becomes extraordinary when we pay attention to the contrasts of flavors and textures; add to that the seasonal ingredients that Northern Virginia has to offer with a good amount of tradition and culture and the willingness to take risks,” said Cano.

After moving to the United States seven years ago, Cano trained under Master Chef Edwin Scholly and Chef Bertrand Chemel. She enjoys the discipline of being a chef, which requires her to be organized, fast, clean, able to multi-task, communicate well and think quickly.

Cano resides in Manassas, Va. When Cano is not working at Carmello’s, she is very involved in supporting GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling and fighting hunger in countries like Haiti and Guatemala.

Wilmer Marquez is the executive chef of Carmello’s and Monza, overseeing management of both Carmello’s and Monza’s kitchens, while Alejandro Aragon is now head chef of Monza.

“Monza and Carmello’s have experienced a lot of change and growth over the years; with different styles and needs, it was time to position our key kitchen staff with specific roles for each restaurant,” said Miguel Pires, general manager of Carmello’s and Monza of Old Town Manassas, Va.

Carmello’s of Old Town Manassas, Va. was established in 1987 and is owned by Portuguese immigrant, Alice Pires of Manassas, Va.  The family-owned restaurant offers fine dining, serving a contemporary American cuisine with Portuguese and Mediterranean influence. In 2011, its sister restaurant, Monza, was created, providing bistro fare. Carmello’s earned the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine for four consecutive years, and has been voted best fining dining restaurant by Prince William Today for 2013. Their seasonal menus are complemented by their fresh produce from the restaurant’s garden. Led by general manager, Miguel Pires, Carmello’s and Monza are active volunteers in its community, uniting with local charities to help those in need and to build community spirit. For more information, go to, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or call 703-368-5522.

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