News for the Hospitality Executive
Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa
Appoints John Bakker as the Executive Chef
ST. MAARTEN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES (March 10, 2009) –Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa is honored to announce the appointment of John Bakker as the property’s new executive chef. In his new position, the seasoned chef plans to further establish the Westin’s reputation as the hub of dinning on Dutch St. Maarten and the entire island -- the bona fide “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” – at the crest of high season.
Overseeing the cuisine at Westin St. Maarten’s five food and beverage outlets and a staff of thirty-five culinary professionals, Bakker lends his leadership and litany of five-star international experiences just in time to launch the newly minted AAA Four Diamond Aura steakhouse. Formerly housing a sophisticated take on the various culinary traditions that make up Caribbean dining, Aura has recently taken a new direction. Under Chef Bakker the restaurant will focus on filling a niche on the island for classic steakhouse fare while delivering specialties that continue to give a sense of place to this gastronomic outpost.
“I feel very lucky to be brining my passion for international cuisine and varied experiences in the kitchen to a property that has already experienced a great level of success and recognition for both the hotel and restaurant. With Aura’s new concept in place, I can’t think of a more exciting time to lead this team and develop a specialty that has yet to be mastered on an island known around the world for its excellent dining,” says Bakker on his arrival at the Westin St. Maarten.
“We worked with John at the Westin Casuarina Grand Cayman, where he was part of the Cayman Islands National Culinary Team and winner of the Chef of the Year Competition; we were well-aware of his talents. We’re pleased to be working with him again to bring more recognition to the stellar cuisine and service that we provide to our guests,” says Marcus Repp, regional food and beverage director for Columbia Sussex, owner of Westin St. Maarten and Westin Grand Cayman.
In addition to his time in Grand Cayman, Bakker has cooked his way through various chef posts throughout Europe, the United States and his native Canada, most notably working as the Sous Chef at Maine’s 5 Diamond, 5 Star landmark The White Barn Inn under Chef Jonathan Cartwright.
Bakker received his degree in Culinary Management from George Brown College in Toronto and later enhanced his qualification by earning a Modern Apprenticeship and Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Scottish Qualification’s Authority in 2005. Other career distinctions include being chosen to the Cayman Islands National Culinary Team and winning the Cayman Islands Chef of the Year Competition in 2007 and 2008, respectively, during his tenure at Westin Casuarina Grand Cayman.
Open nightly from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Aura features an intimate atmosphere punctuated with dark woods and warm comforting tones and offers both indoor and outdoor, ocean front seating. For more information or to make a reservation at Aura, call (599) 543 6700 or http://aurastmarteen.com/.
About the Westin St. Maarten Resort & Spa
|Also See:||Columbia Sussex Developing 310 room Westin Resort on the Dutch Side of St. Maarten / December 2005|