Chef Carlos Babilonia Dives Into Detail On Farm To Table At Bellasera’s The Claw Bar

Chef Carlos Babilonia

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erik Keller

Bellasera’s The Claw Bar Head Chef, Carlos Ríos Babilonia dives into detail on farm to table, inside the Raw Bar & his aspirations within Hotel Bellasera. At Haute Living we had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Carlos and learning about his career and family life. Carlos enjoys playing the violin and creating unique dishes that infuse his Puerto Rican roots with other cuisines and flavor profiles. Read the entire interview below!

The Claw Bar

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erik Keller

Haute Living: What inspired you to become a chef?

Chef Carlos: My father studied hotel and restaurant hospitality as well as culinary arts. I remember him coming home with his books and I loved to look up recipes and talk to him about them. I come from a Puerto Rican family that loves to get together to cook every weekend and I was always amazed by the tradition. I was always in the kitchen cooking with my mom, grandma, and my dad from a very early age and I used to always tell everyone I wanted to become a chef. 

HL: Where did you become familiar with the Farm to Table concept?

Chef Carlos: After culinary school I did an internship with Chef Jeremy Cruz, at the time he was the executive chef from Villa Montaña. There I got a glimpse of the Farm to table concept and got familiarized with seafood as well. Then I kept working in different fine and casual restaurants which we used local farmers, and fishermen and made their ingredients the star of our dish. 

Seafood Tower

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erik Keller

HL: How long have you been working with The Claw Bar?

Chef Carlos: I’ve been working in The Claw Bar for 2 years plus some. 

HL: What is your favorite dish to prepare for your guests? 

Chef Carlos: I love to work The Raw Bar section of our kitchen. Every seafood tower and platter are unique, and they have its own character depending on what our guest orders. They are fun to make, challenging and the plate up is artistic in its own way. 

HL: What do you spend your time doing when you aren’t in the kitchen at the Claw Bar?

Chef Carlos: When I’m not working in the restaurant, I’m spending my time with my family. I have a 3- year old boy and an 8-month old daughter that wait for papa everyday to play with them. 

HL: How long have you been in Naples and what made you come to this area?

Chef Carlos: I’ve been living in Naples for around 4 years and 7 months. We moved here after hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. My wife had family in Naples, so we decided to move here with their help. 

HL: What is your favorite restaurant in Naples?

Chef Carlos: I like Osteria Tulia and Namba. Those are my favorite restaurants. 

HL: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?

Chef Carlos: I enjoy eating dinner with my family, especially my wife. She is picky and I like to challenge her to try new things! 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erik Keller

HL: Do you see yourself staying in Naples as you grow older? What is your favorite thing about living here?

Chef Carlos: I don’t know if I will live here all my life, but I have become used to Naples, I really like it. It reminds me of my old town in Puerto Rico where it is calm, chill and people are very nice! 

HL: Outside of Claw Bar do you cook at home at all?

Chef Carlos: I do cook sometimes at home, but I really enjoy the food of my wife. She is an awesome cook! 

The Claw Bar is located inside The Bellasera Resort at 221 Ninth St S, Naples Florida 34102. They have a daily Happy Hour from 3-6 pm. Visit their website for more information here: