The Hilton Aruba hosted an informal celebration of culinary veteran Executive Chef, Matt Boland and Director of Engineering, Ramon Avila Perez.
Both Boland and Avila Perez will be taking their years of knowledge and experience and applying them to personal endeavors. Executive Chef Boland will be supporting his son Mikey in furthering his culinary aspirations, and Avila Perez will be reuniting with his family in his native home of Puerto Rico.
With extensive training in classic French kitchens in Paris, Boland’s award-winning accomplishments and creativity earned him executive chef assignments at some of Aruba’s major resorts, gaining celebrity chef status on Aruba. He shares he had the privilege to work at the Grande Dame of Palm Beach for eight years under the Radisson flag and for more than three years as the chief of the Hilton’s culinary brigade.
Under his direction, the resort’s famed steakhouse, Sunset Grille, became a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, one of only two restaurants to receive this achievement in Aruba. Boland has cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, “a career milestone for any chef,” he says, and secured Hilton Aruba’s restaurants’ status as perennial traveler favorites.
Chief Engineer Avila Perez was internationally recruited to come and work in Aruba, and during his time on island – almost 4 years – he fell in love with the property and its Team Members.
According to General Manager Vasco Baselli, Avila Perez is “leaving the Grande Dame in great shape”, fresher and prettier, having upgraded and refurbished many systems and procedures giving the iconic resort a renewed lease on life.
In his farewell notes, Avila Perez expressed great pleasure for leaving his beloved engineering department in the hands of a highly qualified woman, Nephtaly Croes, who will oversee the departments’ activities moving forward. Nephtaly is the resort’s first female to lead the engineering department.