Bati Bleki January 21

ECOTECH DESERVES PRAISE. At the beginning of the year my friends at ECOTECH sent me a small questionnaire asking me to rate their performance. As I was giving them top ratings in 8 service areas I realized how good and reliable this company is in managing and disposing my household waste. Thank you for everything. The team of three guys working the residential Malmok area is especially friendly and helpful, you rock!

L.G. SMITH’S CHOP AND STEAKHOUSE IS SMOKIN’. The local press was invited on Friday for a menu tasting at the restaurant starring celebrity chef Scott Newman, serving an all smoked Certified Angus Beef brand menu. The chef was invited to Aruba by the Renaissance Resort, and blessed by the Texas Beef Council, whose mission is to increase the demand for beef. Mission accomplished, press members were totally impressed by the chef’s recipes, now served at  L. G. Smith’s until and including Valentine’s Day, and will surely increase their consumption of smoked brisket, smoked ribs and smoked Manhattan steak, as presented by the Texas-born magician from Oregon, USA, Chef Scott Neuman. The Ranch House Salad featuring more than one-dozen finely chopped ingredients and the classic Wedge Salad with smoked bacon, Roquefort cheese and pear tomatoes won the Best Salads Ever title, as bestowed by Elizabeth Guanipa! Then we shared the Dry Aged Manhattan Frenched steak, wow, it’s the sliced heart of the NY Sirloin, and it is worth the calories and the Lipitor, which is a cholesterol lowering medication, the perfect drug-pairing. The unique Chili Mac & Cheese and the Chili Onion Strings heaped everywhere deliver great additional flavor, in combination with Arion Wine Company wines. Stand by for a full description of the desserts, next week!

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE I. I first met Glenn de Kaey of the Aruba Trading Company at the Xclusivo fund raising party at Tierra Del Sol, in December. He is the new Wine Portfolio Manager and was recently recruited to promote more wine drinking here, and encourage us to spend more of our disposable income on vino! A native of Belgium with a taste for the exotic, his beautiful wife is Cuban, Glenn is passionate about his field of expertise and is expected to shake up the market, teaching all the old dogs new tricks!

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE II. Our tall, good-looking friend Michael Ras is now the Food & Beverage Manager at the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort and part of the team opening Pure Ocean, which replaced the once popular, now defunct Sunset Bistro. The new giant palapa restaurant right on the water’s edge will be opening for breakfast later this week and for dinner at the end of the month with an eclectic menu of specialties from the Caribbean, the Far East and the Americas, which chef Edwin Geerman is writing.

HAPPY BUDDHA ARUBA. Bubbly and fit Corinne Voermans – you can tell she is strong – is a Yoga teacher and yes, Psychologist, that’s what the business card says. She runs Happy Buddha Aruba, her exercise studio located at home, at Hacienda Santosa.  It’s the first place on the island to offer HOT YOGA, you heard me, Hot as in temperature. Classes are given in a pre-heated room of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity of 40 to 60%, which encourages profuse sweating and detoxing. Check out her facebook page for all kinds of classes, it seems to me Asthanga Yoga practices more postures and positions than the Kama Sutra.

THE FRAME SHOP IN A NEW LOCATION. Visit Cydric Oduber in the gallery’s new location on Rudolf Arendsstraat 16. The place is as expected, gorgeous. Cydric has such great taste in interior décor and auntie Jeanne Gauthier can be trusted to pick only the best works for her art collection! The gallery has a number of rooms and displays lots of local artists all framed by master framer Mario Luijkx. You will be surprised at the treasures you find!

DUMPY GAS STATIONS. I once drew the line at pumping gas. I could do anything I used to say, change electric bulbs, pick ticks off the dog, unclog a toilet but I drew the line at tire changing and gas pumping. Nevertheless, no matter how much I tipped and/or how much I bitched, at the end reality hit me, in Aruba, girls have to pump their own gas.  So ok, I do it, not the most pleasant chore, but not too bad at the Valero stations on Palm Beach and on the Boulevard. The stations are in good state of repair, and the people working behind the counter are summer friendly: Some are friendly, summer not. In contrast, service at the Seroe Blanco station is just as the radio spot promises, first class, and they will pump gas for you on good days. It’s the best station in town, always full of customers, lining up to tank, shop or bank. But what’s with the Tanki Leendert mess, such a dumpy, depressing place with a resident choler as pump attendant, jumping around the greasy, ancient dispensers. Aren’t you making enough money in the petrol business to afford a facelift? Also the station at the end of main-street now boasts a huge neon-lit market, but the Diesel and Gas pumps look like wrecks. Is there some authority in charge of checking the accuracy of the amount of product delivered by the dispensers, and/or the calibration of this junk machinery? I would like to know.

THE NEW FORD FUSION IS AN AWESOME CAR. In my travels I visited Orol Henriquez at Yrausquin & Sons and saw the redesign of the Ford Fusion which is a midsize sedan, a family car that looks sporty, and super stylish. Orol opened the door and pointed out how heavy it feels — it has a steel plate inside, for added protection, she said — and how it closes with an impressive deep thud, instead of the ding, of the plastic and tin doors of Far Eastern cars. Most importantly, it has the latest electronic features such as SYNC voice-recognition with MyFord mobile-app integration, which allows the driver to control a variety of mobile apps with voice commands via their Smartphone, which sound like something I would like! Safety said Orol, is my first concern in cars. Of course it is, but over the past few years I have been driving cars based on their efficient fuel consumption. I understand the Ford Fusion Hybrid is coming to Aruba soon, with spectacular fuel economy, equipped with a gas engine and electric motor. Let me know when it’s here!  rc@visitaruba.com