More Deliciousness at Divi. Meet the new chef at Divi Little Bay

Chef Iwan

We’ve got food on the brain lately. Actually, we’re going to have food on the brain all the time now! Divi Resorts recently hired Matt Boland, a well-known wizard in the kitchen and award-winning chef, to work his culinary magic at ALL of the Divi restaurants. He is fast at work revamping food and beverage offerings and presentations.

Today, there is more delicious Divi food news: This fall, Iwan Hokahin took the helm as executive chef of Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten. Iwan, too, is a top-notch chef who’s come to Divi Resorts straight from that little place in the Bahamas called The Atlantis. Heard of it? Well, now Divi has gained one of its top chefs, and our guests will enjoy the fine dining experience Chef Iwan brings to the table.

We are especially excited to have Iwan at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort because he’s a native of St. Maarten. So, it’s a homecoming for him and certainly a celebration for Divi! Schooled and trained in Europe, he brings a wealth of global experience to his role as leader of the resort’s three restaurants.

Iwan is the son of a Surinamese father and Dutch mother, and as a result, he embraced the panoply of flavors at a young age. Expect to see European and Asian techniques in the cooking and the plating. He also has a passion for the food of his youth and intends to present authentic Caribbean cuisine in a gourmet way.

Prepare to be dazzled with deliciousness in every way!

Just wait till you taste what this guy is cooking in Barbados! Meet Chef Henderson Butcher.

Chef Butcher

Who doesn’t want a winner on their team? Divi Resorts does. The company hired a big time winner when it made Henderson Butcher executive chef of the new pureocean restaurant at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in Barbados.

Butcher’s culinary star began ascending in 2007, and it hasn’t stopped rising since. He is famed not only throughout Barbados, but also all across the Caribbean. His winning way with pork earned him top chef honors in the Taste of the Caribbean competition, as well as the nickname “The Pork Boss.” He has likewise dazzled judges and foodies with his vegetarian dishes, beef entrees, seafood and chocolate concoctions.

The arresting architecture of pureocean restaurant entices many beach strollers to amble in. But on some days, it’s the wafts of fragrant smoke emanating from “The Smoker” out back that extends the invitation. Chances are, it’s Butcher’s “first love” – pork – tempting you. When the smoker is fired up, guests know that the daily specials include smoked pork ribs, loin chops or various offerings of pulled pork. The menu also includes smoked chicken or shrimp. Lately, Butcher has been experimenting, as chefs are known to do, and we are highly anticipating his smoked brisket and jumbo beef ribs, coming soon.

Local Barbados ingredients rev up Butcher’s recipes, including Mt. Gay Rum and organic vegetables and herbs grown in the resort’s own greenhouse. He is a big believer in dock-to-dish and farm-to-fork recipes, liking his ingredients to be as fresh as possible for his guests. Divi Resort-to-fork is pretty fresh, wouldn’t you have to say? Butcher also works with local farmers and fishermen to source the menu. Cocktails, too, feature native produce, like the Divi Cosmo Martini, which uses guavaberry juice; and the Old Passion, which mixes Mt. Gay Extra Old Rum with passionfruit and fresh ginger.

For several years, Butcher has been a key participant in the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival, but his demanding chef duties at pureocean do not leave time for that anymore. Thus, you’ll be happy to know he’s all yours at pureocean while the festival is going on around the island, November 20-23. With the word out about the great food and ambiance at pureocean, it’s a good bet that many foodies will beat a path to Divi Southwinds Beach Resort during the festival.

Here’s what the “Love Barbados Design” blog recently wrote about pureocean:

Meet Divi’s new culinary chief – the award-winning Matt Boland

Aruba’s Top Chef Heads to Divi


How does a Bloody Mary Shooter sound? Or Mini Crab Bites? Crispy Grouper Burger (fresh from Aruban waters)? Lobster and Crab Mac and Cheese? Low and Slow Garlic Pork? Belgian Waffle Sundae? I’m pretty sure I heard a chorus of “Delicious!” Does it also sound fun, fresh and fashionable? That’s exactly what Matt Boland, the newly hired regional executive chef for Divi Resorts, is aiming for at all the Divi restaurants. He calls it “five star food, fashioned from old favorites.” You can’t go wrong with favorites, especially if the gastronomic tweaks are fresh and healthy ingredients and a burst of flavors culled from the Caribbean mélange of cooking cuisines.

Meet our Chef Matt. His story is the classic Hollywood feel-good script of someone working his way up from the bottom rung all the way to the top. It’s a true tale of triumph, going from lowly dishwasher to award-winning head chef (with a grueling stint in Paris spent learning to master the art of French cooking, which he achieved, as evidenced by his many accolades and awards).

If you’re a fan of the purebeach lounge at Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, you are already a Matt fan. Divi tapped him back in 2009 to consult on a culinary concept for a new casual dining spot to be built on the beach. Our longtime Aruba visitors know how this particular chapter went: purebeach lounge was a huge hit, which then prompted the makeover of the Sunset Grille restaurant into pureocean. The success of the latter impelled Divi to open another pureocean, this one at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in Barbados, just a few months ago. At the new pureocean, the food, service and magnificent setting have earned early raves. (Check out what Barbadian blogger Love Design Barbados said. She’s now part of the fan club, too!)

Matt officially joined Divi Resorts earlier this year to work his wizardry on Divi’s restaurants – more than 20 at last count – devising new menus and dining concepts. He is a nonstop fount of innovative and great recipes. “Exuberant” is an adjective universally used to define him, and it’s a fitting descriptor for his food, too.

Stay tuned for more food news. (Hint: New menus, starting in November.) Better yet, come eat! You’ll be dazzled by the delicious changes at Divi.