I was born on the beautiful island of Sint Maarten, 35 years ago. I am the Private Chef at Villa Amalia and a mother of a son. I was raised in Sint Maarten by my mom, who was from French St. Martin and my dad is from St. Lucia, but truly I grew up with my grandmother from the Dominican Re public. She cooked and baked constantly and I always was in the kitchen learning something new with her from her coconut tarts, sweet potato puddings to her pumpkin bread, baked butter breads and so much more, it never ended. Although I was in the kitchen, I never thought I would have been a Chef today.
I left Sint Maarten to study Marketing and Communications in Holland and found it boring and whilst talking with the professor he asked what I liked to do in my spare time, I res ponded “cooking of course”. He told me to try culinary school, and that we need to follow what we love. I discussed it with my mom and she agreed and allowed me to switch courses and like that I fell into my greatest passion.
I earned level 4 Culinary degree in Groningen at Noorderpoort College, I did many stage’s in Holland but came back shortly after graduating and worked immediately at the Westin Dawn Beach Hotel in Sint Maarten.
I started off as chef de partie in the 4 diamond Restaurant “Aura” and trained with the best chef to date Raymond Southern. He trained me along the line of the other Sous chefs.
My most admired chefs is Raymond Southern. He taught me to love what I am doing. To taste, feel, elevate and create myself in what I make and give out to others. He always pushed me to be more than safe. It was always safe to make mistakes with him. My greatest wisdom lesson, is accepting who I am and not to be afraid to try.
I love my Caribbean flavor s of spicy, robust earthy spices, but I love Italian cuisine, there is so much passion in what you create it is not a cookie cutter (follow the recipe) book. It is intense flavors of feeling, tasting inspiration of quality products so simple and so elegant when combined with homemade pastas, sauces, little gnocchi’s that is bodied with a great paired glass of wine.
I love coming to work, it is my getaway from the headaches and stress of life. Every day with every interaction with my colleagues, my guests the joy of making others smile. Makes everything worthwhile. Once I step in to my kitchen I keep creating, refining my craft and more. There is always something new to learn, it is just like art.
Villa Amalia in itself is a gem of seclusion, tranquility and beauty. To work as a private chef in this gorgeous one of a kind villa on my island, is the best thing ever and I am so appreciative of Mike and Lia for having me here. They are one of kind, this is my home away from home!
My dream is to open my own restaurant, on the island we have been through so much due to the devastating storm Irma in 2017 and now dealing with COVOD-19. It has been very hard on the tourist industry for all businesses but I am deter mined to succeed in accomplishing my goals.
I see myself in the next 10 years, with a restaurant on the beach with a mix of every culture. But also I would like to travel to each island and write a book of each island’s best delicacy that I have tasted, enjoyed and combine them and make it a one “Caribbean Sea” of many flavors recipe book.
A taste of the sea!!!