Bati Bleki, September 30th, 2013

DON’T MISS, FROM OCTOBER 15TH TO NOVEMBER 13TH.  EPB Hospitality Students are cooking up a storm every Tuesday and Wednesday at Aloe Restaurant, from October 15, 2013. During their graduation year, the EPB students, who are concluding their basic, professional-training high school are required to practice what they learned, while interacting with each other and clients in real-life restaurant situations, hence the Aloe Restaurant and its professional commercial kitchen where the students train! The general public is invited to enjoy a three-course lunch for only Afl. 25 per person, every Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 noon to 2pm, as the kids work towards their diplomas. Please make a reservation! With Chef  Kenneth Blom and Chef Reynaldo Maldonado, in the kitchen and François Maduro  coaching the dining room, you are guaranteed to have a great time! Tel. 528-9791 ext. 152.

THE ROARING 40’s. Two over-the-top birthday parties helped usher two of my friends into their 40’s just recently. Forever-young magazine and radio diva Jacqueline Suttle threw an electric all-nighter, with DJ Theo, who was entrusted with the chilled music, assisted by Maurice Neme, who must be the island’s most expensive DJ. In the kitchen chef-extraordinaire Eduard Ellis was making his famous oyster soup, a la minute, while outside under the stars the chef of Gari & Wasabi, was slicing, dicing and rolling sushi maki rolls, Pret a Manger, working out of the restaurant’s chiller-cabinet, which miraculously found its way into Jacky’s backyard for the night. This girl has friends in all the right places!  And she never holds back on entertainment or decor, definitely going all out  on food and libations with Dilma Arends, Lalo Croes, Bettina Daal, and the van Ommerens, in full support. I recuperated from Jacky’s party just in time for tough-guy Glen Goddijn’s roaring 20’s mafia bash with many beautiful people, dressed up in flapper and gangster gear, at the House of Mosaic. Glen is a Designer and Advisor in the Public Space for the Ministry of Integration, Infrastructure and Environment, and his party was a surprise production orchestrated by the island’s best event planners, Fernando Mansur and Angelo Tromp. Bonus feature: Ten of Glen’s family members arrived on the island just in time for the champagne toast! The dance floor mixed divas and dons: Osaira Muyale, Werner Vennen Balliere, Tabitha Fecunda, Elvis Lopez & Jerusha Rasmijn, all hard-twerking people! (Check out the how to twerk video on YouTube)

RETRO ORANGE POP. In April of this year we heard that Nesbitt’s Soda Pop, was talking to the Aruba Trading Company about bringing the old favorite back. The Nesbitt’s Fruit Products Company was founded in 1924, by guess who? Mr. Nesbitt. It specialized in producing syrups to be used in soda fountains. Our favorite, Nesbitt’s Orange Soda, made its debut in 1938. The drink was bottled here on the island and was retired when the Tropical Bottling of Aruba NV started marketing its own line of pop products. With the re-launch of this great nostalgic brand, the iconic bottle is back in a variety of flavors, in the same bottle, with different caps! So drink up, many of you were raised on that, how bad can it be, you turned out OK?!

SCREAMING EAGLE MEANS DELICIOUS. I am not quite sure when, and maybe it happened a while ago, but it was news to me. Apparently, Daniel Kameijer bowed out of the three-way partnership in favor of a new yet-to-be-disclosed project, the then they were just two on the original team at Screaming Eagle, money man Sven Schneider and culinary wizard chef Erwin Huske. You know how we always order the same thing at restaurants? I fall into the same trap. When out for dinner at Screaming Eagle I cannot resist temptation and then I just order my favorites! This time Sven did the ordering. Wow. I scaled to new culinary heights with chef’s giant short rib, marinated and meltingly tender, with a rich sauce, over fabulously buttered vegetables. Worth every calorie. This week the chef’s special is the Hanger Steak, the one judged best entree in the Iron Chef Competition, served with raisin couscous and grilled vegetables, honey sauce. Erwin has created an encyclopedia of unique specials over the past two years, conceived every two weeks with seasonal fresh ingredients. Sven reports that in about six months the restaurant will also revolutionize its already-spectacular wine list, and will feature rare and hard to get, in addition to just incredibly good wines. Judging from the OMG Cabernet Sauvignon he paired with my dinner, he is on the right track!

BOTICAS DI SERVICIO ON THE MOVE. I did notice that the Boticas di Servicio woke up from a long slumber because they look better — painted and merchandised — and they even started advertising. What is happening? Then I found out that the Aruba Growth Fund is now an active shareholder of the company. Remember the Aruba Growth Fund, the first Aruban private equity fund started at the beginning of last year with initial funding from the main Aruban pension funds and several other private companies?! Well that’s it, they are working and enhancing the value of the asset on behalf of more than 10,000 Arubans who now own part of the business, via their pension fund investment!

U SHELL & WOULD SEA CHRISTMAS COLLECTION. We were invited to preview the first Christmas collection, U shell & Wood Sea, at the home of Maike van Paridon. This girl is an amazing artist making gorgeous handcrafted Christmas decorations from driftwood and shells. So this year, if you are looking for a different, artistic touch pick some of her items up at the Salamander Holding stores. I love her paint-dipped white coconuts, beautifully inscribed with inspirational messages and tied with a silk bow. Maike is also the best hostess, serving plentiful Que Pasa sushi rolls and wines, under a giant tree in her yard. Famous canine companion Joep finished the Carpaccio before I arrived, but I heard it was delicious. Maike who worked as a music producer in the Netherlands before arriving here entertained us with her former-life stories and her diverse work portfolio consulting three major local companies and nurturing a new catering business, by Que Pasa, which hit the road running, a short time ago. Keep it in mind for your next party, their sushi rolls are awesome!  Dishing out warm praise and heaps of compliments for the Christmas collection combined with hospitality Jodi Tobman, Karin Swiers, Isha Arana, Elisa Lejuez & Karin Kalter. RC@visitaruba.com