Memorable Food & Wine Pairing in the Grand Ballroom

dsc04978The annual Aruba Wine, Food & Art Festival in its fifth edition attracted many locals and tourists to the second evening’s event in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Aruba Resort.

The island’s fine wine importers: the Aruba Trading Company, Pepia Est, Romar Trading, Playa Liquor, Licores Aruba, and Arion Wine Company, set up beautiful display booths allowing their wine educators to truly inform and entertain guests tasting the delicious wines made by more that 60 wineries from around the world.

Each of the tastings set ups was paired with a food station manned by the students of the Aruba Culinary School under the guidance of the Westin’s culinary team with Executive Chef Gerard Coste in the lead.

The students and their mentors came up with original recipes, and also participate for the first time, in a student competition where Daphne Willems and her classmates placed second for the traditional Bacalau tasting and Cindy Monsalve and her team landed top honors for her stuffed Korobuto pork dish. Special mentions also went to the other participating teams who did an excellent job at their food stations, Derrick Falcone, Edymar Tromp & Eldrick Franken.

The much-anticipated Wine & Food Pairing Exhibition was open to the general public and featured some surprises: Romar Trading set up a classroom section where wine expert Clive Faustin led entertaining mass tastings of the Romar portfolio, and Pepia Est who set up a complete trendy lounge in honor of the world premier of Voga, a new Italian Pinot Grigio & Merlot, marketed in exceptionally innovative bottles.

Music by Daniel Aguirre’s Jazz band and Hana with the Equator, rounded up a terrific evening sponsored by the Aruba Trading Company, Pepia Est, Romar Trading, Playa Liquor, Licores Aruba, and Arion Wine Company, important wineries from the USA and food purveyors: Caribbean Overseas NV and Frasa NV, Aruba’s Chefs, the US Poultry Federation, the US Meat Export Federation, and the Buckhead Beef Company.

Pictured here happy patrons attending the Wine, Food & Art Festival 2009.