OLD ROAD VILLAGE,
Antigua -- For French-born and -trained Christophe Blatz, executive
chef at Curtain Bluff, feeding 150 people three meals a day at an
all-inclusive resort where the average length of stay is six nights
presents unique challenges.
Ive been the head
chef for four years and was a sous chef here for six years before
that, Blatz said. I was born in the Alsace region of France,
started cooking at 17 and trained and cooked in France and Germany.
This was my first Caribbean job.
He admitted that
the beginning was terrible, but they convinced me to stay, and Im
very glad I did.
Cooking in the
Caribbean means that Im never sure when the food will be delivered.
Most of it arrives by air, but flights are delayed at
shortages on Antigua also play havoc with cooking, and the weather
can be a challenge, as well.
two restaurants welcome nonguests who must reserve in advance, and
Blatz said these diners sometimes criticize what they view as a
lack of selections, as do the travel agents who spend two nights
here on a fam trip but are not here long enough to see our variety,
Guests who are
here a week have new choices every night. We offer three or more
main courses and appetizers, side dishes and desserts at
The most popular
entrees over the years have proven to be lamb, veal and fish, Blatz
Menus are planned
10 days ahead, but changes are made if the fish arent caught that
day, but it doesnt often happen that we run out of
Herbs come from
Curtain Bluffs own herb garden; fruits and vegetables are flown in
from Dominica; pastries and breads are baked on the
intrigue Blatz, who said that most kids eat unhealthy foods. Id
never seen a chicken nugget before I came here, and Ive never
cooked as many french fries as I do here.
falls under Blatzs domain, as well, as does room
Many of the chefs
under Blatz are sent to cooking schools in the U.S. for training
during the three-month period when Curtain Bluff is
The training is
good, he said. It shows where each chef is strongest and where he
or she would work best in the kitchen.
The kitchen staff
numbers 24; the wait staff numbers 30.
The name of the
game, according to Blatz, is flexibility. Thats what counts, he
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].
details on this article, see Curtain Bluff keeps em coming back.