In honor of the Aruba Marriott Resort’s 15th anniversary, a handful of press members were sent a toque blanche – traditional headgear of professional cooks – with the cryptic invitation for lunch typed on the brim.
The toque blanche arrived at the newspapers announcing that lunch will take place at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, for an unusually long period of time, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm on a Thursday.
Aruba’s members of the press, like their colleagues world-over, usually find themselves imprisoned behind the “No Time” reality of their jobs, and favor short and sweet press conferences allowing them to rush back to their desks, to prepare the news broadcasts for the following hour, or day, no time to linger, rush, rush, living with deadlines and the constant pressure of current events.
While press members live in the fast lane, somehow the Aruba Marriott Resort always manages to create exceptions. The resort’s creative and appreciative marketing team always gets the press to play, unwind, relax and stay put, in just one spot!
Lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steak House was no exception, as the group arrived armed with cameras and recorders, the welcome committee consisting of Marriott executives Joanne Dirksz, Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi and Eduard Renaud, forked over Ruth’s Chris aprons and escorted the dignitaries into the kitchen, entrusting them to the care of Executive Chef Robert Wlodyka.
Wlodyka introduced the reporters to his culinary team, and gently broke the news-scoop to them, that this time, they will have to help make lunch, not just eat it.
What followed was a very educational and entertaining cooking session, in rubber gloves, naturally, no bare hands here, with Sous Chef Marlon as the chief mentor, demonstrating the spicing of the Ahi Tuna which Kevin Van Ommeren, Giovanni Muller, and Baboe Hoek seasoned to perfection, and the sprinkling of steaks, with Salt & Pepper, with Dino Tromp in charge of the shakers.
Broadcasting queen Eric Croes helped prepare the restaurant’s famed chopped salad and Yorleny Quesada laid out the Seared Ahi Tuna appetizer with the spirited ginger, mustard and beer sauce.
Two of the restaurant’s best loved side-dishes the amazing Creamed Spinach and the phenomenal Sweet Potato Casserole were also prepared in full view of the cameras with Julie Renfro and Rona Coster trying to ignore the calorie count. They helped mix the signature ingredients, following the original Ruth Fertel recipe, from 45 years ago!
Dessert, the restaurant’s famous bread pudding with sweet cream sauce came in a bag to go. Ruth Fertel, explained Eduard Renaud at the beginning of the afternoon, mortgaged her house to open the first restaurant, and today Ruth’s Chris Steak House is popular all over the USA, and successful in Aruba, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Taiwan!
It was a terrific 15th anniversary celebration, one that will not be forgotten soon, having also improved the cooking skills and food knowledge of Aruba’s Press Corps.