Chapel Hill, NC, September 23, 2014— Matt Boland, a veteran and culinary star of the Aruba hospitality industry, has joined Divi Resorts as regional executive chef.
Boland is in charge of food and beverage operations for the company’s more than twenty restaurants at its properties in Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Croix and St. Maarten. Boland is the first to hold this new position for Divi Resorts, and he is tasked with creating new menus, conceptualizing future restaurant ideas and unifying standards of culinary excellence. He also will be expanding “pureocean,” Divi’s proprietary restaurant brand, in key locations. He reports to Marco Galaverna, president and chief operating officer of Divi Resorts.
The assignment brings Boland full circle with Divi Resorts. A native of upstate New York, Boland moved to Aruba in 1993, at the invitation of the owner of Divi Resorts, who frequented an exceptional French restaurant in Ithaca, New York, where Boland was headchef. In more recent years, Boland was the initial consultant to Divi Resorts for “purebeach,” a lounge created for Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort in 2009. Its success, which introduced a Euro-Caribbean chic ambiance to Aruba casual dining, resulted in the remaking of the resort’s existing restaurant into “pureocean,” and the eventual extension of the concept to other Divi resorts.
A self-taught chef with training in classic French kitchens in Paris, Boland’s skills, award-winning accomplishments and creativity have earned him executive chefassignments at Aruba’s biggest resorts, including Wyndham, Radisson and Westin hotels. Under his direction, the Sunset Grille became a AAA Four Diamond restaurant, one of only two restaurants in Aruba in the last 10 years to achieve the standing, and a perennial traveler favorite. Along with numerous industry accolades and awards, Boland has cooked at thefamous James Beard House in New York City, “a career milestone for any chef, “ he said.
He is Aruba’s celebrity chef and the Tourism Authority’s popular choice to wow attendees at travel shows with food demonstrations and tastings. He is also the author of “Aruba Trips for Travelers,” published in 2005.
“Matt has unflagging energy, creativity and passion for developing fresh concepts, welcoming environments and delicious experiences,” said Galaverna. “We are thrilled that Matt is back with Divi Resorts. We know he will make Divi the dining destination on every one of our islands.”