The new role sees Diaz spearheading all culinary activities within the hotel and in the kitchens of Stills, Barouk, Jing Asia, Views and Sundowner as well as catering even beyond hotel grounds. He will also be in charge of introducing new and exciting menus that will consistently contribute in positioning Crowne Plaza Yas Island as a key dining destination within Yas Plaza Hotels.
Diaz’s fire for food started in Buenos Aires, with humble beginnings as chef de partie, before quickly climbing the ranks to head chef in just a couple of years. Fuelled by his appetite to learn and expand his mastery of flavours, he took on the challenge to work as Chef de Cuisine at Zhongmao Haiyue Hotel in Shijiazhuang, China and then Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas in Abu Dhabi, UAE. With a growing portfolio, an important door of opportunity opened for Diaz as he was given the role of Executive Chef at Vinpearl Luxury Nha Thang in Vietnam. He continued on this trajectory and served at Royal Tulip Saranam Resort & Spa in Bali, Indonesia. In 2018, he received the offer to return to Abu Dhabi with an Executive Chef function for Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana where his skills would be put to the test, managing a completely alcohol-free environment. Always attracted to new adventures and hungry for continuous learning, he finally accepted his position at Crowne Plaza Yas Island, managing its kitchens that cater to 428 rooms, five F&B outlets and five meeting rooms.
“It is such a refreshing feeling to join a talented culinary team who, while already producing some well-loved concepts, is still eager to push the boundaries in order to elevate our guests’ dining experience. The challenge for me is not just to satisfy patrons of Crowne Plaza Yas Island, but hopefully to also surprise them with offerings I’ll be adding to existing favourites. I’m proud of my Latin-American heritage so they can definitely expect some inspiration there as well as international dishes which I have always enjoyed experimenting on with my team to come up with new tastes sure to delight the senses,” claims Diaz.
From South America to Southeast Asia and through to the Middle East, Diaz has been cooking up a storm in Mediterranean, Japanese, Asian and Latin American cuisines for over 20 years. His expertise in food extends beyond cooking, as he has undergone numerous classes in hygiene and kitchen status quo practice courses that include food safety, hazard analysis and on-stage and on-job cooking certificates.
His discipline, impressive ability of understanding and masterfully executing culturally diverse cuisines and expertise in managing staff from different parts of the world are all ingredients for his success in Crowne Plaza Yas Island.