Bati Bleki, October 27th, 2014

NEW EATS. We understand that Quinta Del Carmen, the historic residence in Bubali will be converted into a charming landmark eatery by a team of Barefoot culinary experts. We’re looking forward to their new creation. A new eatery named Twist of Flavors, TOF, will be checking into Alhambra Casino & Shops by Susan Toonen of the popular Bread Boutique at Sun Plaza, and her Corleone pizza making, The Upstairs bar-tending partner. The place is destined to become an all day casual eatery. THE ARUBA CULINARY

ASSOCIATION STAGES A COMEBACK. The ACA is being revived and is actively seeking culinary professionals to become members, among hoteliers and food & beverage executives. The goal of the association is to enhance the dining scene, and raise it to an internationally recognized level of excellence. I officially volunteered to provide the organization with Public Relations Services. This job is no gonna pay, but it’s guaranteed to feed me well! The first meeting is set for this week, with the public launch set for early November, says the freshly-married Chef Urvin Croes, the new president of ACA.

ARUBA & PANDORA GIVE BIRTH TO OFFICIAL CHARM. We enjoyed the official launch of Pandora Rose his week and the unveiling of the official Aruba charm, with the Aruba logo. The party at the store at Paso Herencia was nicely attended by the ATA officials who collaborated with local businessman Ravee Boolchand on the production of the first test batch of 3,000 charms. I promised Ravee that I will help promote it and that he will sell out in just two days, because the charm is as expected, charming. Ravee reports long negotiations with our government departments and numerous delays, but the end justified the means and it was worth the almost two-year planning period. With wife Kiran by his side, Ravee welcomed all well-wishers and buyers with a flute of pink champagne. His lieutenants Raju (Roger) Melwani and Nirmal Harjani did their share in entertaining the dignitaries and helped introduce Brian O’Connor, District Manager for the Boolchand Pandora locations, in Aruba, Curacao, St.Maarten, St.Thomas, Miami, and San Juan in 2015. A basic Pandora Charm starts at $25 retail. The new Aruba Charm retails for $75, and the store offers a number of campaigns to ease the burden of expenditure, so get yours fast, and dress it up with additional baubles from the affordable rose collection.

ALOE RESTAURANT SEEKS YOUR SUPPORT. The students of EPB, the local basic professional training high school, are inviting you for lunch at Aloe Restaurant any Tuesday or Wednesday. The school is located across the Aloe fields of the Aruba Aloe factory and gift shop, in Hato. As they advance their study of culinary arts students require training and interaction with each other and with clients in real-life restaurant situations. So join them for lunch, this is your opportunity to support their quest for diplomas, and the three course lunch goes for just Awg 25, served from noon to 2 p.m., until November 19th, so hurry up. Chef Orlin Geerman and Chef Reynaldo Maldonado call the shots in the kitchen, while François Maduro coaches the front of the house staff. Make a reservations at tel.: 528-9791, ext. 152 and find out what’s on the menu.

BUTT KISSING TOILETS. Banjolux, a company dedicated to the improvement of homes and bathrooms in Aruba since 1997, hosted an elegant cocktail party in its showroom showing off the latest trends in shower heads, toilets, lavatories and tubs. We met the island’s top architects and contractors, Orlando Hoevertsz, Jouel Croes, Aaron Matthews, Bert Kamsteeg, Steve Lacle, Stanley de Cuba, Rudy Croes, Carlos and Milly Profet, among other top professionals. The fun cocktail party introduced these new state-of-the-art toilets with advanced hygienic air dryers, air purifiers, automatic flushing with remote control, and a lid patented with softclose, designed to lower the seat to the bowl gently and quietly. This new toilet does everything except kiss our backside, and it contributes to turning the ordinary bathroom into a zen zone, an escape, a refuge, thus promoting an improve quality of life. The manufacturers are all dedication to global conservation and boast a responsible environmental vision. So remember when you renovate, tell Harold Strijland you want the butt kissing toilet and he will know who referred you. Banjolux, Aruba’s leading bathroom and tile specialist encourages businesses and individuals to discover their own unique taste in its showroom.

CRAFT FAIR, MARK YOUR CALENDAR. The next Aruba Crafty Hands event at Fort Zoutman is scheduled to December 6th and 7th, 2014 from 6.00 pm till 10 pm. Crafty Hands debuted last year with Foundation ARUBA, Artisans Recognized & United by Aruba. The fair dedicated to genuine local artesania, will host the Second Annual Holiday Shopping Spree, and you are invited to attend. The organizers Gabriella Gonzalez, Tya Hurkmans, Wendy op de Weegh and Carina Molina, suggest you like their Facebook page, FoundationAruba, and find out who else is involved, and what’s happening. Shop for gorgeous handmade jewelry and accessories, at the exciting fair, to help artisans achieve the level of recognition they deserve.

REPORT FROM FRIDAY’S HAPPY HOUR AT PEPIA EST. The lovely Sanne Michielse just recently resigned her position at Pepia Est Trading Company, and hosted a fun happy hour over wine and fresh ceviche at that company’s headquarters on Schotlandstraat. Ludwig Estrada will be taking her account over, while she goes shopping for a wedding dress in the Netherlands, then plans a romantic wedding in Aruba to sweetheart Steve DeMatteis. Steve who calls Minneapolis, Minnesota home, is totally into his adorable bride, and her friends and beach tennis, when on island. The lovebirds met when Steve formed part of the construction supervision team for the “new” Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, as it underwent an extensive renovations. Also on hand to sip and chat Herdy and Isabelle Ten Lohuis and their incredibly good-looking kids. Herdy co-owns the trading company with Michael v/d Berg, who has an exotic taste in decor: The large tasting room features an alligator skin covered wall, he must have shot many, and cow leather floors!

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR THE OPENING PARTY AT PALM ARUBA. Palm Aruba Condos grew quietly behind the construction fence in the lot across the gas station on the Palm Beach Road. According to their charismatic sales & marketing coordinator Paula Geerman, they are now almost ready for the great reveal. Developer Victor Acosta is responsible for the efficient and attractive concept and the on-time delivery of the amenity-rich complex which is almost sold out. I often wonder, as I fill my car at the gas station what goes on behind the tall wall. Apparently a lot, because besides three condo towers, with 2, 3, and 4-bedroom configurations, the smallest tower faces the street, the property features a swimming pool, a club house, a fitness center, tennis courts, a game room, BBQ areas, a laundry facility and a space for vending machines. Blissful Management Services will provide the owners with vacation rental supervision and take care of the asset. And there’s more to come, they are already talking about their next project in Bubali, a residential and commercial plaza with the residential portion flagged under the Marriott Residence brand. RC@visitaruba.com