Meet Firefly’s New Executive Chef, Paul Murphy

Prepare your taste buds as we proudly welcome our new Executive Chef, the talented Chef Paul Murphy! His dedication to the art of cooking, innovative approach to flavors, and commitment to sourcing the finest, locally sourced ingredients make him the perfect addition to our team here at Firefly Eatery & Bar. Join us in welcoming our new Chef with buy one get one free dinner special entrées through the end of the year when you book this limited-time package!

As we embark on this exciting culinary journey with Chef Murphy, we had the privilege of sitting down with him to learn more about his background and the vision he has in store for Firefly’s dining experience.


A Culinary Odyssey Begins

Chef Paul Murphy’s love affair with food ignited early on. As a young boy accompanying his mother on grocery shopping trips in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, he was quickly captivated by the ingredients that surrounded him. “Little Paul wanted a rack of lamb,” he reminisces. “Then I learned about salmon, shrimp, prime rib… I didn’t know what prime rib was before, but she slow-roasted it, and goodness gracious, I’ve been hooked on a good piece of beef ever since!” This early fascination with the finer aspects of cuisine would set the stage for his remarkable journey.

15 Years at Humphreys

Although Chef Paul has traveled the world creating culinary masterpieces, he is also no stranger to the Bartell Hotels family. From 2000 to 2015, he held the title of Executive Chef at our sister hotel, Humphreys Half Moon Inn. Most recently, he worked as the Task Force Executive Chef at the InterContinental Hotel in New York Times Square, where he credits much of his success to Humphreys. He fondly recalls the flexibility, strength, and support the Shelter Island establishment provided, which equipped him with the “confidence to be placed in any position across the country and share with them what I know”.

A Few Stints on the Food Network

Chef Murphy’s impressive skills caught the attention of a wider audience when he ventured onto the small screen. His charismatic and “loud and opinionated” personality, as he refers to himself, found a perfect home on the Food Network. His first appearance on “Cutthroat Kitchen” showcased his wit and culinary abilities in a high-stakes competition.

For his second go-around on the Food Network, he was joined by his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter, Megan, by his side. All together, they embarked on “Guy’s Grocery Games, Family Edition.” The experience, filmed at Guy Fieri’s studios in Santa Rosa, was nothing short of incredible. It was a testament to Chef Murphy’s ability to create lasting memories both in and out of the kitchen.

Words of Wisdom

For those aspiring to follow in his culinary footsteps, Chef Murphy offers the simplest of advice: “Learn the basics.” His journey from a young boy yearning for a rack of lamb to a seasoned executive chef underscores the importance of mastering the fundamentals. Fileting a fish, crafting reductions, and honing your skills are the building blocks to culinary success, he states.

Inspirations and Role Models

Chef Marco Pierre White, the mentor of Gordon Ramsay, remains a towering influence on Chef Murphy. However, it was working under the no-nonsense guidance of Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco that resonated deeply. Dubre’s words, “Murphy, shut up and cook,” taught him that the guest’s satisfaction reigns supreme, a lesson he carries with him to this day.

A Taste of Home: Chef Murphy’s Favorite Dishes

Amidst the vast array of culinary creations, Chef Murphy’s favorite dish remains a simple pleasure—a rare, 14 oz. New York strip steak shared at home with his family. It’s a reminder that, at its core, food is about connection and cherished moments with loved ones.

However, among his repertoire of crafting delectable dishes, one holds a special place in Chef Murphy’s heart: sautéed sea scallops from George’s Bank. This meal, perfected during his time at Humphreys, features seared scallops atop a bed of spinach, with toasted vanilla bean beurre blanc, mango, pickled ginger, and sesame oil — something he promises Firefly guests will also get to enjoy the magic of soon.

Beyond the Kitchen: 

When he’s not in the kitchen, Chef Murphy enjoys leisurely walks with his wife, Elizabeth, along the scenic coastline of Carlsbad. They often will grab a bite to eat, take a stroll along the beach for several miles, and end the day sitting on a bench overlooking the water and soaking up the natural beauty surrounding them. Biking around Mission Bay and exploring San Diego with his family are among his cherished pastimes.

A Taste of the Future: What Awaits at Firefly

From new pasta dishes and salads (including his famous sautéed scallop salad!) to heartwarming comfort food, his vision for Firefly is set to impress. With an incredible foundation already in place, Chef Murphy’s fresh perspective and innovative flavors are poised to elevate our dining experience to new heights.

Join us as we embark on this culinary adventure with Chef Paul Murphy. From all of us at The Dana on Mission Bay, we’re thrilled to welcome Chef Murphy to our family, and we invite you to savor every moment of this flavorful journey with us. Stay tuned for more delectable updates from the kitchen of Firefly over on our Instagram and Facebook page!