Bati Bleki, May 25, 2015

MISS TEEN CANDIDATES COOK UP A STORM. The event last weekend at Fort Zoutman challenged Miss Teen candidates in a cooking contest. Apparently, it is not enough to be beautiful. The question who could whip up the most authentic and delicious Aruban dish and impress the judges by both its presentation and taste, remains unanswered until their next event, where winners will be announced. The girls went through a lot of trouble to upstage each other, competing ferociously while remaining friendly, and supportive. Marsheline made a chicken soup and served it in an authentic turn-of-the-century living room. She borrowed the furniture from the museum in San Nicholas. Itaty who prepared Bonchi Cora, slightly sweetened the way we like it, operated from a totally decorated Aruban booth, with cakes and cupcakes in the island’s flag color. Daniela‘s hearty beef soup enjoyed a most elaborate presentation which included her show-stopping costume, cute peasant boys in straw hats, and gifts for the judges. Louisiana‘s delicate Chicken Stew featured old fashioned Pan Bati made from Maishi Rabo. Hillary‘s Fish Balls featured tuna in a freshly made Creole sauce, with four domino players as props. Shevonne tackled goat stew, pronounced authentic, because the complementary Pan Bati was made on a traditional cazuela. Wenjivet stewed papaya,  and looked absolutely adorable on the video, showing her dicing and slicing in the kitchen. The GLW Foundation event entertained a lively and hungry audience made of press members, family and friends of the candidates, who sold out everything they prepared. Compliments toGeorge Winterdaal on another successful Miss Teen event.

SAVE THE DATE, IRON CHEF ARUBA, COMPETITION, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8th. The Aruba Tourism Authority is planning Aruba’s first Restaurant Week, Monday September 28th, 2015 to Friday October 9th, 2015! The finale of the 2-week festival is Iron Chef Aruba.  If you recall, the first Iron Chef Aruba was held in 2013 during the Westin’s annual Wine, Food & Art Festival.  For the 2015 edition, Island Temptations Magazine will be producing it in conjunction with the ATA and Restaurant Week.  The event, themed Eat Local will be well publicized as the various PR agencies for the ATA are bringing 18 food/travel writers and bloggers to Aruba to experience this new initiative, with attendance at the Iron Chef Aruba as the most requested by the journalists. Iron Chef Aruba is planned for Thursday, October 8th at the Divi Alhambra Ballroom at 7pm, starting with a cocktail hour. From 8pm, tickets holders will enjoy dinner while they witness the cooking competition. Three chefs will be on stage. They will each be assisted by two local culinary students. The chefs will be tasked with preparing three courses, based on a mystery basket, prepared by Chef Matt Boland.  Save the date, so you may attend. The event will be a lot of fun, combined with great food and wine. During the cocktail hour, a bartender competition will feature three local bartenders who must be currently working at one of Aruba’s hotels, restaurants or bars. They will be competing with an original cocktail that will be sampled by guests, who then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite. During dinner, wine will be paired with each course, with guests voting on their favorite pairing of the evening. Pepia Est has already confirmed its participation declaring: We are the holders of the Iron Somellier award, 2013, and we will defend that title with all we got. Sounds great!

SHON GECKO IS A FEEL-GOOD PLACE. Shon  Gecko Cocktail Lounge & Grill on Italiestraat, is a friendly place. We finally went to lunch recently and had a congenial time, welcomed by both Urwin and Raymond, who know how to make their guests feel at home. The two operators, one behind the bar the other in the kitchen and dining room are veterans of the hospitality industry having run the snack bar / restaurant at La Quinta timeshare resort for many years. They made a lot of friends among Aruba’s repeat guests, who continue to support them in the new location in the Orange Mall, enjoying their special cocktails, plentiful dishes and reasonable prices. We had spicy crab salads with Madame Jeanette, and loved the crunchy gecko cracker, escorting the salad. I hear the Arubian Burger, served with bacon, cheese and fried onions, is a standout, and that the sandwiches, pastas, and wraps are always yummy!

GREEN VIBES. Ari Lichtenstein just opened last week a unique store by the name of Green Vibes, for sustainable agriculture. He sells the produce he grows in his Land Farm and a variety of articles to make home agriculture easy. Please visit, growing your own herbs and eating just-picked produce is a trending lifestyle. Green Vibe is located at the King’s Plaza, by the Sasakiweg, and the store is open from 10 am to 8pm. King’s Plaza is the Orange Plaza’s look-alike a little further up the road, where DOW is currently digging, so careful not to fall into the ditch. The similar design of the two strip mall is not an accident, they both belong to the same developer, the owner of Cheng Supermarket who used his construction plans twice.

VADAVAS GIRLS JEWELRY. A cute kiosk at Paseo Herencia features the creations of four siblings Valeria, Daniela,Valentina and brother Sebastian. They report that their jewelry and accessory collections are hand made by single mothers, who are part of the Women Opportunity International Foundation, founded by their mother, at the time she was a single mom herself. They tell a good story and are very cute!

WE GET PUBLICITY.  Check out www.outtraveler.com, an online publication. It features a very sexy model, an Aruba native, who shows off his natural beauty. So if you are in need for some summer beach inspiration Designer Matthew Zink shares the latest campaign featuring his brand’s very first “Charlie boy,” model Alex Geerman. He says that Alex Geerman has always had such infectious positivity on set. Arriving on his longboard to the shoot with a huge smile, or doing flips and handstand walks, jumping onto platforms, he truly is like our own beautiful Tarzan right here in the city. I was always inspired to see his physicality, fearlessness, and confidence in his own skin. The photographs look gorgeous thanks to a hunk, born and raised in Aruba. His golden sun kissed skin advertises the island more than one thousand words. The website, the Outtraveler targets the gay community and praises Aruba, the former Dutch colony, which is always a relaxing, sunny playground. The article goes on with recommendations on where to stay and play.

FLAVORS OF THE LATIN CARIBBEAN. Chef Urvin Croes offers a rich and varied specialty menu for the next month inspired by the Latin Caribbean, at his restaurant the Kitchen Table by White. The festive dinner starts with the Aruban snack trio then features a Caribbean ceviche, a Mexican fish taco, a Puerto Rican Asopao, a Cuban Chicken fricassee, Dominican style steak, Colombian sides and elaborate Venezuelan dessert. Served in an exhibition kitchen in full view of diners the meal provides built in entertainment as the chef carefully puts the dishes together with his dynamic kitchen brigade. The menu truly covers the range of Caribbean favorites and is the perfect vehicle to show off the chef’s talent. The wine pairing offered is equally diverse hailing from France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Chile and California. Don’t forget to make a reservation because space is limited. The menu is usually offered for a few weeks, before another one is introduced. Prepare to be delighted. [email protected].

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May 25, 2015
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster