The Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa recently announced that Hector Espinoza will be overseeing all culinary operations for the resort as the new executive chef.
This promotion was a long time coming for the veteran chef who has dedicated nearly 13 years of service as executive sous chef for the property.Â In his former role as executive sous chef, Hector assisted in the development of menu concepts for the Sunset Grille, which has earned the AAA four-diamond award six years running and was named “Best Restaurant in the Caribbean” by Caribbean Travel & Life magazine’s Reader’s Poll. Hector also played an instrumental role in the development of menus for the resort’s Laguna and Gilligan’s restaurants, and an innovative spa cuisine menu for health-conscious guests.Â The Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa is also a major convention and special event destination in the Caribbean, and Hector has been instrumental in planning and implementing menus for large-scale banquets requiring anything from elegant, plated ballroom service to festive, outdoor themed events for as many as 1000 guests.
Prior to his current 13-year stint on Aruba, Hector began his career at the Wyndham Hotel in San Antonio in 1988, eventually serving as Executive Chef for this high-volume business hotel.Â Hector was also tapped to be a part of the task force to assist in the opening of the Wyndham Kingston, Jamaica in 1991.
Hector’s culinary experiences then took him to Greensboro, North Carolina where he served as Executive Chef for Embassy Suites, then on to work with a team of chefs at one of the east coasts’ largest-volume catering companies, Catering By Ellyn, where he contributed to the success of such prestigious events as the Greensboro Chrysler Classic-a major PGA tournament, the ACC Basketball Tournament, catering to both former President Bush and President Clinton’s whistle stop presidential campaigns, and the International Home Furnishings Market.
Throughout his career, Hector has had the opportunity to work in a variety of culinary settings, learning and appreciating local and cultural influences on cuisine.Â But perhaps his proudest achievement to date was in October of 2007, when he had the honor of being selected as an international guest chef for The James Beard Foundation, where he helped to create and implement a special menu-“Sunset over Aruba”-for members of this prestigious foundation in the home of James Beard in New York City.