Chef Matt Returns to the Hilton Aruba Caribbean

I met Chef Matt when he first came to Aruba in 1993. He was invited by developer Walter Wiggins to spend some time at the Red Parrot kitchen, in the Divi Divi Hotel.

Wiggins met Matt in upstate NY, where the young chef worked at the “L’Auberge du Cochon Rouge,” a famed French restaurant, housed in a unique country setting.

So you see, we go back a long time and for as far as I can remember, Matt is always enthusiastic, passionate and bursting with ideas and flavors. He has a great gift for communication, talking intensely, food, kids, grandkids, travel, the ocean, snorkeling… he is no doubt the best swimmer among chefs, and best chef among swimmers. He just loves everything, and everybody.

He wrote a book in 2005 with tips to travelers to Aruba, produced a TV cooking series, cooked for the James Beard House in New York City, and for numerous members of the Dutch royal house.

Following his stellar career at the Divi in the 90s, he earned executive chef assignments at the island’s biggest properties, including the Wyndham, the Radisson and Westin hotels.

Most notably, under his direction, in collaboration with an equally creative GM, he helped create the Sunset Grille, which became a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, one of only two restaurants in Aruba, at the time, to achieve that status, for ten consecutive years.

I cannot think of a more entertaining, or a more creative chef, and I have met many.

So what’s the news you’re asking?

Having served as corporate regional chef with Divi Resorts chef Matt is returning to the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino and is starting tomorrow, December 1st, 2017, to inspire and motivate the resort’s culinary brigade to greater greatness!

At the Hilton he says, he will dedicate his talent to develop a fresh concept for Gilligan’s Beach Bar & Grill, the resort’s seaside restaurant and continue to nurture and expand the steakhouse experience at the Sunset Grille, enhancing the already very welcoming environment with an over-the-top delicious culinaria, infusing innovation, and producing cutting edge food.

How does a Roast garlic pork,  broccoli rabe sandwich with ,parsley caper gremolata move you? Or a Lobster and crab grilled cheese sandwich with island slaw and chipotle aioli? Fried oysters with dill tartar sauce and mango pineapple dips? New Orleans Fried Oyster Po Boy, tarragon tartar sauce?

I detect Modern Caribbean, Latin and classic French influences. Nice.

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November 30, 2017
Rona Coster