Wellness Week at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, which took place in September, was dedicated to the importance of living well, raising awareness for everything from exercise and beauty treatments to a healthy life-style, balanced nutrition, and mindfulness.
One of the week’s highlights, Cooking Classes with Executive Chef Matt Boland introduced Matt’s health-conscious specialties to guests attending the sessions. They all received recipe cards with easy to follow instructions for healthy meals at home, and got to taste the items prepared, exhibition-style.
One afternoon, the cooking instructor’s role was overtaken by Pastry Chef Helen Thiel who made some delicious Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins with resort guests. Guests were amazed how wonderful they tasted and how easy they were to make.
Helen is a recent arrival on the resort’s culinary team. Born in Aruba, Helen graduated from Florida International University, Miami, FL with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Hospitality Management. However, that was not enough for the ambitious hospitality management candidate, as she went on to The International Culinary Center in New York, NY, for another degree.
Founded as the French Culinary Institute, Helen acquired a Diploma in The Art of International Bread Baking, having completed the intensive course study and 240 hours of hands-on training in artisanal breads from France, Germany, Middle Europe, Italy, and other countries.
She came back to Aruba and helped for a while in the family business, Arepados Bar Café Aruba, as Kitchen Manager & Sous Chef, before Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino reached out to recruit her to the Culinary Brigade.
Chef Matt Boland reports she is a valuable addition to his team and has been preparing artisanal bread for the resort restaurants since the day she was hired.
Charming and outgoing, Helen is happy to share her knowledge with guests at every opportunity, and guests seem to be eager to learn when she is around, as she is fluent in English, Spanish, Papiamento, and some Dutch, and very skillful around Chocolate!