Beti Bleki September 17th, 2012

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE. Is a title of an amazing book about change in the workplace, written more than 10 years ago. Most people are fearful of change because it feels like they are losing control over their lives, but the book shows that a positive attitude about change is what matters most!  So now you know what I mean with the caption, who moved my cheese?! Lots of corporate changes have been taking place around the resorts with executives hired and recycled, shuffled and moved around, as the pressure to prepare for the high season is on. It’s all good, since the hoopla presents an opportunity for growth and personal development. Seasoned and veteran Sales & Marketing Director Patrick Donovan will be leaving the Westin Resort & Casino. Pat who is a consummate host to travel agents and tour operators will be taking it easy for a few months, then seek a new challenge, he says. With 18 years of island experience and firma-libre, he is a super-employable asset. As a result of the same corporate Westin reorganization Weddings & Events Specialist extraordinaire Inge Van Roon relocated to Divi Resorts where she will help expand Divi’s share of this ever-growing market. French born Gerard Coste, traded in his Food & Beverage Directorship at the Radisson Aruba Resort Casino & Spa in favor of a more hands-on position with the Divi, teaming up with Inge as the Executive Chef of the new Alhambra ballroom and F & B outlets.

BENIHANA RELOCATING TO THE PALM BEACH CENTRE. I noticed construction is in full swing as Benihana prepares to move into the South Beach Centre as an anchor tenant. Due to lack of leadership, the South Beach Center lost its original oomph and should therefore be looking forward to the injection of refreshed energy and clients flocking to the Japanese Steakhouse. And in view of the fact that Tuscany Residences sales gallery is moving into a brand new facility on the property in Noord, before the high season, that second floor space across Magic 96.5, will be looking for a new and exciting tenant.

PASTAWBASTA IN ARUBA. On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd, the opera singers of PastaEBasta Amsterdam, will be in Aruba performing at Tierra del Sol, pool side, against the backdrop of an enchanting Venice décor. Beautiful music, spectacular Italian food and a tropical ambiance, combine to make the evening special, see the adz in the Diario for more information, or go to their website pastaebasta.nl, to check out their voices and moves!

WEDDING BELLS. Joe Najjar and Trish Padilla, just tied the knot recently, eloping to Miami Florida, and finally saying “I do,” after perhaps twenty years of friendship and romance. Joe who is the dynamic and tireless General Manager of La Cabana Beach & Racquet Club and Trish, originally from California, have two misbehaved chocolate Labradors, Moose and Coco, besides an active and rewarding social and professional life.

GASPARITO IS CHARMING. The almost-forgotten restaurant in Nood, is still very charming and dinner on the rustic patio under the stars delivers a tasty and satisfying experience with Chef Danny Barros in the kitchen and host Rei Barros working the floor and connecting with guests the old-fashioned Aruban way. Rei who is a mason at heart continues to refurbish the old cunucu house and plans to enclose the outdoor bar in glass, air condition the space, buy a large screen TV, and turn the spot into an intimate sports bar, with hip bartenders! We spotted veteran aviation man Osling Toppenberg among guests. He was if you recall one of the first owners of Gasparito, also a big-shot at the airport with American Airlines in the days when legendary Vice President Peter Dolara was a demi-god, and Osling his representative here. After spending some time in Europe, Osling recently returned as the CEO of Aviation Ground Services, a company resurrected from the SATA ashes, with investors Gigi Helder and Patrick Paskel, competing for the ground business at Reina Beatrix Airport with fearless commando Alejandro Muyale and generalissimo Dimitri Pavlowitch of General Air Services.

IFA GOES TO HOLLYWOOD…HOLLYWOOD SMOKEHOUSE, THAT IT! Members of the International Friends of Aruba feasted on pulled-pork and slow smoked brisket, Saturday night at the Hollywood Smokehouse. The delicious restaurant by Tina & Mike Bislick,  moved from its San Nicolas location to the Old Dutch Bar  take a right on the Sasakiweg boulevard roundabout, drive by Club Hipsz, towards the Texaco station, then look to your right. Open just weekend, Saturdays & Sundays, serving real southern BBQ, the place offers a cool terrace, and cold beer at local prices. Great for people watching!

THE QUOTA SISTERS DELIVER. They didn’t promise to blow us away and/or rock our world, over-promising and under delivering, as sometimes happens with these Let-Us-Show-You-the-Light seminars. The Might as Well Dance afternoon at Cas Di Cultura was billed as Quota Club’s 25th anniversary celebration, and it delivered solid entertainment, with inspirational comedian and motivational speaker Judson Laipply, who is also the world worst dresser. The nicely air-conditioned auditorium, with limited leg-room, hosted the light and lively affair, where the audience embraced the experience and the message: Laugh with Others, Learn from Others, Live for Others and Love all Others.  The afternoon was expertly and charmingly emceed by Jodi Tobman of Salamander Holding.

QUESTION: Why not finish the construction project downtown BEFORE starting the construction project at the airport.

REQUEST: Can we have a zebra pad next to the new Juliana School in HATO, before someone gets hurt from speeding traffic?!

2 FOOL & A BULL. Our heartfelt congratulations go to Gourmet Studio 2 Fools and a Bull for achieving the #1 position on TripAdvisor, as the top-rated restaurant in Noord.  Partners Paul and Fred report they now offer new opening times, and while closed on Saturdays & Sundays, they reserve these days for groups, yearend celebrations, or private parties. With limited seating for just 17 guests, you’d better be quick and book ASAP.  2 Fools and a Bull serve a 4-course dinner menu, including 4 different wines, Mondays to Fridays! The evening starts at 7pm and may last three-four hours.

IKE’S BISTRO WILL BE OPENING AT THE MANCHEBO.  Recently, the tropical garden terrace at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa has been repositioned as Ike’s Bistro, and will be serving a modern twist on Mediterranean cuisine under the guidance of the full-of-surprises Sous-Chef Ever De Pena.  Just 26 years of age, the chef has nevertheless been cooking for the past 11 years.  Born in Venezuela and raised in Aruba he deftly composes beautiful dishes with subtle and complex flavors, under-promising and over-delivering, on taste and on presentation. Since he recently joined the culinary team, Ike’s Bistro was conceived and boasts a delicious menu of the chef’s specialties, inspired by Caribbean ingredients and Ever’s passion for avant-guard fusion ideas.

Rc@visitaruba.com.