Asi Es Mi Peru hosts an intimate opening dinner party

Jan van Nes and his wife of 25 years, Roxana Salinas, hosted an evening affair in honor of their new joint venture Asi Es mi Peru Restaurant at Paradise Beach Villas.

I was happy to say to the Resort Manager Freddy Albertus that his property is slowly transforming into a culinary destination with two excellent chef-owned eateries in residence, Terrazza Italiana, on the ocean front roof top and Asi Es Mi Peru, on street level, across La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino, both easily accessible to outside guests, with ample and convenient parking.

We were greeted with bottomless Pisco Sours, a classic Peruvian cocktail as invited press and family members congregated on the enclosed terrace; then in her own words, Roxana told us her life’s story, about coming to Aruba on vacation 25 years ago and meeting her husband Jan; settling on the island and learning to love and appreciate her new home, raising two boys who now study in the Netherlands, and all along maintaining a very special relationship with her native country, Peru.

Having operated an all day Italian-inspire dining terrace and gelateria on Palm Beach, Roxana recently decided to fulfill a long time dream, plunging her even further into hospitality, by opening a classic, authentic, Peruvian eatery.

She got a bit emotional at one point, expressing joy and gratitude, thanking family members for their steadfast support of her dream, but she forged on to present the local cancer fund, Queen Wilhelmina, with a generous check, money raised from the proceeds of the tiny artisan market at the entrance to the restaurant.

“We are a restaurant with a social conscience,” she said, “and we will make monthly donations, to social causes,” she added. Then Jan ventured forward with a hug and a kiss. It was a great, feel-good moment!

The subsequent ribbon cutting ceremony starred a great number of Roxana’s broadly smiling, proud family members, and having enjoyed the picture-opportunity, we then sat down to a sumptuous tasting, of all the restaurant’s hits, a Seafood Ceviche, Causa, Aji de Gallina, Lomo Saltado, and for dessert Arroz con Leche and Mazamorra Morada.

Albertus, remember, he is the resort manager, is very enthusiastic about the new addition to Paradise Beach Villas. He was just introduced to the classic recipes of the Peruvian kitchen, and is now a Leche de Tigre aficionado, appreciating the citrus-based marinade, with thinly sliced onion, smoky chilies, salt, and pepper, that cure the seafood in his Ceviche!

Peruvian cuisine was born when indigenous cooks met European immigrants, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese, mixing local ingredients such as corn, potatoes — growing more than 3800 potato varieties – and quinoa. Apparently, the whole world is now interested in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques. This kitchen has a long multicultural history, and is ready for the world stage!


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January 17, 2017
Rona Coster