Celebrity guests Jancis Robinson and Nick Lander are visiting Aruba

Celebrity guests Jancis Robinson and Nick Lander are visiting Aruba, invited by Arion Wine Company in honor of its 20-year anniversary celebration. They both write columns for the prestigious Financial Times, on their respective areas of expertise.

Jancis is an author, lecturer and world-class authority on wine while Nick is an equally knowledgeable food expert, having run a number of top restaurants himself, besides actively consulting.

I met the two impressive, but laid-back visitors at the Aruba Experience Café for a conversation about my favorite topics, food and wine. Nick had a hotel tee-shirt on. Apparently, his luggage hasn’t come in, yet. He was hopeful it would eventually materialize. But he did have a remembrance poppy, above the tee-shirt logo. The artificial red flower is worn this month in Britain, and other European countries, to commemorate Armistice Day, November 11th, 1918, to honor military personnel who died in war.

They both praised the Financial Times as being a wonderful workplace, though the entire staff works from home and collaborates well. Of course, the British daily business newspaper, which is printed in broadsheet and also published digitally, focuses on business and economic current affairs, and is a must-read for any self-respecting business person around the globe.

Nick claims Jancis has an easier job, since she is well-respected for her vast wine knowledge, no one dares argue with her pronouncements, while as a food critic, every one is a food critic, says Nick, reporting he gets plenty of commentary from anyone who can chew and breathe, at the same time.

In Aruba, Jancis and Nick will meet our third year hospitality students, for an interactive session focusing on sustainability. They will also engage with local professionals from the trade, for a seminar. They will both participate in the fundraising dinner at Azia Restaurant & Lounge on November 10th, and Jancis will also conduct a book signing session at H&H, Wines and Spirits, in Ponton.

Arion Wine Company orchestrated a packed agenda for the dignitaries.

Jancis reports she wrote her first piece at 15, it was published, then consequently she wrote her way across the globe, transitioning from fashion to wine, which she is passionate about.

Her weekly column is complemented by daily updates on her website, and she is regularly lauded as ‘the most respected wine critic in the world.’  Having written nine books about the subject, and served as consultant to airlines and royals, we cannot argue with that.

We talked about wine trends, counterfeit wines, yes, there is such thing, global warming and grape harvesting, China’s surprising wine culture, oak vs no oak, the introduction of egg-shaped clay vats by some French winegrowers, and the evolving palates of locals in Aruba who learned to let go of the sweet varieties, in favor of more mature choices.

Nick reports that the food scene is England is very cosmopolitan and that true blue English specialties are enjoying a revival, beside classic French cuisine. It’s back to basics, adds Govert van Hout, of Arion Wine Company, who also feels his clients now tend to rely on old favorites

Jancis and Nick have three kids and Nick is proud of his son who continues in his father’s footsteps operating top restaurants promoting modern British cooking with a hefty heritage.

Arion Wine Company is inviting its fans, friends and clients to join an elegant evening of fundraising, with a special 6-course dinner menu paired with exclusive wines in honor of its anniversary at Azia Restaurant & Lounge. For reservations, at $200 person, contact: [email protected] or call tel.: 297 583 3325 for more information.

An exciting silent auction is planned as an additional source of  funds for FPSA Fundacion Prevencion den Salud, a Health Promotion Foundation.

On the Menu: Welcome Cocktail

Amuse: Arancini: Sushi Rice – Roasted Cherry Tomato – Burrata Foam, paired with Wente Vineyards 140th Harvest Sparkling Brut, Arroyo Seco, Monterey, California.

First Appetizer: Tuna Carpaccio – Fresh Blue Fin Tuna – Caviar – Gold Leaf Flakes, paired with Whispering Angel Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France.

Second Appetizer: Aruba Salad – Lobster & Shrimp – Avocado Crème – Romaine Lettuce, paired with El Enemigo Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina.

Entree: Pasta Bolognese – Fresh TagliatelleVealBurrata Crème – Wagyu Reduction, paired with Antinori Tignanello Super Tuscan, Tuscany, Italy.

Main Course: Filet Mignon – Wine Peppercorn Jus – Fresh Herbs – Rock Salt – Mushroom Duxelle, paired with Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California.

Dessert: Triple Layer Chocolate Mousse – Dark Chocolate Cake – White, Dark & Milk Chocolate Mousse, paired with Gérard Bertrand Banyuls Traditionnel, Roussillon, France.

Thank you Aruba Experience Cafe for your genuine warm hospitality


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November 07, 2023
Rona Coster