Página 60 - Fall-Winter-2015

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60 • island
temptations
The Planning
We started the planning stages of this project this
past spring. Imagine the logistics of setting up
three kitchens and a full pantry for our competing
chefs on stage! Our first step was venue selection.
After much deliberation, we decided that the
Divi Resort’s Alhambra Ballroom, located at the
Alhambra Casino & Shops near Eagle Beach, would
be a good fit. It’s not a massive space—it’s actually
quite intimate as ballrooms go and just the right
size for what we aimed to accomplish. We decided
to limit our first installment of Iron Chef Aruba to
145 guests to create a sense of community in the
room, and also to make sure we did not bite off
more than we could chew.
More important than the size of Alhambra
Ballroom was the team of professionals at Divi.
We needed them to believe in the project and be
as emotionally invested as we were in making this
a truly special and unique event for Aruba. Divi’s
corporate chef, Matt Boland, has been a longtime
personal and professional friend. Both Rona Coster
(public relations and special projects director
for
Island Temptations
) and I have collaborated
with Matt on projects in the past, and we knew
his personality, knowledge, and skills would be
invaluable. Matt’s passion for the culinary arts
and Aruba translated quite nicely as he, along
with Aruba’s first Iron Chef, Urvin Croes (chef/
owner of White Modern Cuisine and The Kitchen
Table by White), helped us tweak the format of
the event, creating intriguing mystery baskets for
the competition and advising on kitchen setup and
equipment needs for the competing chefs.
S P E C I A L F E A T U R E