â€œWe are really excited to acquire such an industry professional as our new Food and Beverage Director,â€ states General Manager Rob Smith. â€œHis classic French training combined with his experience as Executive Chef for over 20 years, is matched by his ability to work with diverse cultural backgrounds in different culinary styles. This fusion of broad knowledge and rich experience makes him a very valuable addition, as the leader of our culinary team.â€
Born in Nice in the South of France, Gerard packs a Mediterranean-French culinary lexicon, enhanced by traveling around the globe. Cooking runs in his veins, he reports, having observed his mother in the kitchen practically since the day he was born. â€œCooking,â€ he offers, â€comes naturally to me; itâ€™s my passion and first love.â€
As kitchen apprentice, young Chef Gerard was first discovered by an award-winning French master, Jean Michel Pericou who guided him through the challenging maze of French cooking techniques. Gerard then went on to England and broadened his horizons at the internationally renowned Harveys Bristol Cream restaurant in Bristol, England, and at the Concorde Hotel in London, also keeping up with the great French chefs of that time, at Hotel de Paris and the Hotel Mirabeau, in Monaco.
Prepared to move on to a different region of the world, he asked for his old mentorâ€™s input and Pericou immediately recommended his prodigy to a property in Aruba, almost 20 years ago, thus launching a successful career in the Caribbean.
Gerard has fond memories of Chalet Suisse & La Vie En Rose restaurants, where he first worked on the island. He then joined the Hilton, which later became the Wyndham, and the Westin, where he served as the Executive Chef for a number of years, also nurturing that hotelâ€™s famed Food & Wine festival, for the past five.
When General Manager Rob Smith came on board the Radisson in October, he was looking to recruit a food industry icon. Executive Chef Gerard Coste came to his mind as the ideal candidate, providing the chef would be prepared to step into the Food & Beverage directorâ€™s shoes. He checked. The answer was â€œYes!â€
â€œWhat is great about acquiring Gerard,â€ the enthusiastic Smith explains, â€œis his ability to affect the front-of-the-house service experience, in combination with the back-of-the-house food product; as he is equally comfortable in these two areas.â€
From the perspective of his new office Gerard is looking forward to contribute to the only 4 diamond hotel restaurant on the island, the Sunset Grill, and also anticipate pushing all other food outlets to even higher levels of food, presentation and service.
Personally he likes his dishes fresh and simple, he confides, and he can have a Salade NiÃ§oise for lunch every day of the week, providing it is sprinkled with the highest quality olive oil, which he is finicky about.
As a father of five, he also cooks at home, and always finds time to discover the talents of young chef apprentices in the culinary stream of the local hotel school.
Welcome to the Radisson, Gerard, light and refined gastronomy, sounds good to us.