Come celebrate Cuba’s Cookin 10th anniversary

GianGangCuba’s Cooking restaurant on charming, colonial Wilhelminastraat in town is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Publisher Douglass Marcus who owns the ‘joint’ reminisces: “It’s been 10 years since Cuba’s Cookin’ opened here, and every time I return to the “big island” to keep up with family & friends, I also seek out new paintings and photographs for the restaurant walls now boasting over 250 pieces of art.

I feel it has become my mission to bring the hospitality, food, art, and music of Cuba to Aruba. The similarity and kinship of these two islands goes back to the turn of the century when many Arubans went to Cuba in search of backbreaking work in the sugarcane fields. During that time many Arubans married (thereby gaining the name De Cuba) and returned to their homeland with Cuban wives and many continue to nurture their split roots between the big and small islands. In my 10 years as owner of Cuba’s Cookin’ I have had a great time meeting so many of them and sharing the love for this rich neighboring culture.”

Ten years ago Douglass created a gem of a place, Cuba’s Cookin’, serving hearty Caribbean soul food and of recently some great Nuevo Latino dishes which are fresh, artistic, colorful and vibrant, just like the island on which they were created.

The Grilled Chicken Mofongo, stuffed with sweet mashed plantain, onion pate and mushrooms, the Chicken ‘n Olives, one of the tastiest dishes on the menu imported to Aruba from the hills of Vanales, marinated in green olives, crushed garlic and a pinch of brown sugar, the Stuffed Pork flavored with capers, over-roasted in a deep brown sauce, the tropically-inspired Coconut Shrimp or the Cuban BBQ Ribs – nobody does pork ribs better than the Cubans – will take your mind off the classic comfort foods such as Ropa Vieja, literally translated as old clothes, Cuba’s most popular dish and Picadillo de Res, the Cuban signature chopped sirloin, served with incredible yummy sides.

Cuba’s Cookin’s best feature is live music, offered every night of the week with Maestro Ramon and Juan on guitars, and Siohuky on percussions, playing Bolero, Son, Cancion, Guajiro, all traditional Cuban songs, delivering truly thrilling moments with the amazing dancing waitresses, swaying away mid-service.

Coly has been at the restaurant for ten years, and she is a terrific dancer, entertaining guests with her Latin flair between courses. Yendi has been there for ten years, she too is a mover and a shaker. Gianinna, the manager has been at Cuba’s Cooking for 10 years, Rosa the cleaning lady has been there for ten years, the cooks have been there for ten years, in short, it’s a place hard to leave, and great to return to, also thanks to Christian the bartender, who mixes amazing real deal Mojitos, and they are free this month in honor of Cuba’s Cookin’ 10th Anniversary.

“Please come and join us for lunch or dinner and receive a free Mojito or Cuba Libre as well as our 2 for 1 drinks at the bar,” says Douglass, as a form of open invitations. Sounds pretty irresistible, and Happy Anniversary!

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June 27, 2009
Rona Coster