Executive Chef Octavio Verhelst
Octavio Verhelst, Executive Chef at La Cabana, brings a wealth of experience to his position. Although only 30 years old, his culinary career includes years at the Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Renaissance Resorts in Curacao in various chef positions, as well on the Royal Caribbean ship Azamara, at Wyndham Hotel in London Chelsea Harbor, and at Park Plaza Hotel in the Netherlands. Octavio also travelled around the world as a specialty chef, learning about local culinary genres, satisfying his culinary curiosity and honing his skills. Wanting to be close to his young sons, Octavio returned to the Dutch Caribbean to take the Executive Chef position at La Cabana Beach Resort.
Octavio is not only talented with a passion for his profession, but also focused and motivated. He is truly a role model for young aspiring chefs. He is a master of creativity, fascinated with the dynamics of time, temperature and flavors, and incorporates the international influences he has discovered in his travels. At Islander Grill, dishes now have a definite local flair and include traditional keshi yena (stuffed cheese), crispy funchi (polenta), plantains, and the Caribbean seafood sampler. At Las Ramblas (Spanish: the ruins), he wanted to bring a Characteristic flavors and feeling to his dishes. You have to try them to see how this interesting and unique approach is brought to the plate. Restaurant specialties include USDA choice and prime meats, fresh local catch and imported seafood. Rock lobster carpaccio, rib eye and striploin are favorites with diners.
“The kitchen is my lab,” he reveals, and what results are not only tasty and perfectly prepared but always with the element of surprise that delights the palate and keep patrons coming back for more.