Ayala to Curate for The Dan, Cass Street Coffee, Hotel Flor Catering Program 


Tampa Bay, FLA (September 13th, 2023) The Floridan Palace, The Dan, and Cass Street Coffee company have named Chef Christopher Ayala as the Executive Chef of the property. Chef Ayala has been in the culinary industry for over 15 years with experience and education from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Chef Ayala describes his culinary style as “New American” with an international twist. He’s known to add accents of Spanish spices and flavor – an ode to his family heritage from Spain.


In his culinary journey, he had the opportunity to open a Spanish inspired restaurant called La Tienda Tapas Bar & Market in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was appointed Executive Chef on the team for three years before relocating to Tennessee. Most recently, Chef Ayala served as Executive Chef of Ellington’s, a restaurant inside the Fairlane Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. 


At The Dan, Chef Christopher Ayala is highlighting some of his favorite recipes and styles with exclusive weekly specials that include off-the-menu dishes. Guests can experience new, unreleased options when dining at The Dan with the excitement that they may be tasting future menu items without even realizing it. 


“As The Dan continues to grow and evolve, my team and I are eager to introduce more exceptional and enticing dishes to the menus,” says Executive Chef Christopher Ayala. 


Outside the kitchen, Chef Ayala finds himself either channeling his inner “Music City” at local concerts or pages deep in a good novel. His true inspiration comes from fathering his seven year-old son, who he hopes outshines him one day.  



Q: Why did you choose to join the team at The Floridan Palace?

A: I consider my dishes and recipes to be truly unique and I thought there would be no better place to introduce my style to the Tampa Bay area than alongside the iconic establishment. I’m thrilled to create something remarkable with The Dan [and The Floridan Palace] as it continues to make a mark on the city. 


Q: What do you love about Tampa so far?

A: Although I’m not a huge fan of Florida’s humidity, I can say I love the proximity of the water. Tampa Bay is beautiful. 


Interview Clip with Executive Chef Christopher Ayala

Images of Executive Chef Christopher Ayala 

The Dan Lunch Menu

The Dan Dinner Menu

Cass Street Coffee Company Menu 


THE DAN: Settled in Downtown Tampa at the historic Floridan Palace Hotel, The Dan is a modern fusion of Gulf Coast cuisine and old school speakeasies. The Dan serves dinner seven days a week, weekday lunch, and weekend brunch coming soon. The restaurant is located 905 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 – entrance on Cass St. www.dineatthedan.com 


FLORIDAN PALACE HOTEL: The Floridan Palace Hotel is a national landmark hotel and encapsulates all of Tampa Bay’s old-world charm along with the highest quality service and a full range of amenities. The Floridan Palace Hotel is located at 905 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602. www.floridanpalace.com


EVOLVE & CO: Evolve & Co is a full-service advertising agency located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The company is a collective of brand strategists and creatives, specializing in the lifestyle vertical. The firm is located at 475 Central Avenue Suite M7, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. www.evolveandco.com 


Editors: For details, or to schedule an interview, contact Lisa Williams lisa@evolveandco.com  or 727.490.9835.

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Lisa Williams

Author Lisa Williams


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