In 1994 he became the first St Maarten born son to ever graduate from the world renowned culinary institute of America. He accepted a position at the then Sheraton Port de Plaisance, as a line cook (many people remember Dino flipping omelettes at Sunday brunch) and worked his way up to Chef de Partie learning, as he went the many lessons of managing a kitchen in the Caribbean.In 1995, after hurricane Luis hit the island and closed the hotel, Dino went back to the CIA and completed his Bachelor’s degree. A rare opportunity to do a stage at the famed L’espinasse at the St Regis Hotel with Chef Grey Kunz ended after 10 minutes after Dino showed up to work with a dirty apron.
In 2002, Dino returned to St Maarten to pursue his life-long dream of opening his own restaurant and Temptation was born. In its first few years, Temptation sky-rocketed to the top of the island’s dynamic dining scene, winning “restaurant of the year” by the Gault Millau Guide 3 yrs in a row 06,07,and 08, and also scoring 16 points by the same Gault Millau Guide. (Side note: there is no restaurant in Europe that has 16 points from Gault Millau and doesn’t also have atleast 1 Michelin star. Aka 16 pts from Gault Millau is the equivalent of 1 Michelin star) In Feb 2005 Bon Appetit Magazine called Temptation “one of the top 10 new restaurants in the Caribbean” Dino has also been featured in National Geographic Traveller, Caribbean Travel and Life, Islands, American Way, and Hemispheres magazines, as well as The Miami Herald, and Washington Times newspapers Other awards include 2 time gold medal winner at the Taste of Caribbean competition in Miami FL 2005-2006.
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