Mastering Modern Caribbean Cuisine @Infini

Imagine. Chef Urvin Croes times two.

The way the chef explains it, he regularly checks out other Caribbean chefs, eager to see what his peers in the industry are doing, as they revive classic Caribbean recipes and develop modern Caribbean takes on the old favorites.

Over time, he noticed Chef Jason Howard, and looking at his food images and recipe ideas on line, found them eerily similar to his own, like he had a pioneering twin executive-chef brother, on the other side of the ocean, in Barbados.

They started talking and exchanging views and decided to meet for a Four Hand Dinner in Aruba, an opportunity for them to collaborate here, at Infini.

That was almost two years, plus a pandemic ago, but finally last week, Chef Urvin Croes and Chef Jason Howard got to work together, delighting an exclusive number of diners over a period of three nights.

Chef Jason is a 2-star Michelin experienced chef, best known for creative menu development and modern plating. Like Chef Urvin, he is trained in classic and contemporary French techniques and pioneers the rest on his own, with a unique approach to food, fueled by science and art. We can only envy his life, as he cooked his way around the world hailing from Barbados, then making a splash in Italy, South Africa, Germany, Spain, USA, Jamaica, London, and recently here, where he left a great number of fans behind.

Together with Infini’s talented kitchen and dining room brigade, they formed a Culinary Caribbean Collective, and served an eight-course dinner with an impressive wine pairing.


On the menu

Four Hands Dinner Menu


Chef Urvin Croes

Johnny Cake

Beef / Pickled Onions / Avocado

Banana Bread

Chicken Liver / Onions / Truffle

Annatto Tartlet

Egg / Saltfish / Orange / Sweet Potato / Vanilla / Creole Sauce

Pairing: Familia Pasqua Romeo & Juliet Prosecco, Rosé Extra Dry, Veneto, Italy

All three delicate pre-meal bites showcased Caribbean favorites such as pickled onions, avocado, sweet potato and the orange-red annatto seed. I am debating which one was my favorite, the fluffy Johnny Cake or the irresistibly creamy chicken liver on banana bread combination.


Bread & Butter

T2Pan Sourdough / Curry / Garlic / Butter / Pineapple

Zaida, the local boutique, home-based micro-baker, surprised us with a most delicious sourdough paired with fantastic favored butters.


Chef Jason Howard

Amberjack / Rice / Scotch Bonnet / Bread Fruit

Pairing: Dr. Konstantin Frank Semi-Dry Riesling Finger Lakes, New York State, USA

An unforgettable signature presentation of the chef, amberjack sashimi flavored with his subtle Scotch Bonnet oil, and paired with an airy rice cracker. He brought the bread fruit in, in his bag!


The Flower

Chef Urvin Croes

Hamachi / Toro / Mango / Oxtail / Celery Roots / Avocado / Chayote / Pica di Papaya

Pairing: Hampton Water Rosé, South of France

Served in an especially made ceramic dish shaped like a flower, this is a Meso American Umami bomb! Thinly sliced fish, lightly seasoned with salt and lemon zests, served with pickled chayote, avocado, spicy mango jelly and celery roots crème, swimming in a clear pool of oxtail consommé, annatto oil and crispy fried beef. A masterpiece.


Chef Jason Howard

Snapper / Fish Foam / Smoked Mackerel / Cabbage

Pairing: El Enemigo Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina

Chef Jason explains that both mackerel and cabbage are staples in Caribbean cuisine yet they are  elevated to a new dimension, here. The braised Cabbage in  fish foam, is no longer common, under Chef’s Jason’s hand and the steamed snapper, topped with crispy saltfish, tastes like the ocean.



Chef Urvin Croes

Lamb / Pineapple / Guava/ Eggplant / Lions Mane / Hummus

Pairing: La Capilla Vendimio Seleccionada, Ribera del Duero, Spain

This was an incredibly impressive preparation: Lamb marinated with Meso American adobo, wrapped in plantain leaves with herbs and spices, is covered in a salt crust and barbequed. When the salt crust is cracked, the lamb is served with burnt lamb fat powder, roasted cauliflower with sea salt and lemon zests, hummus, guava glazed eggplant, scallion oil, spicy crisp, pickled pineapple, a burnt pineapple velouté and a lamb jus.


Chef Jason Howard

Duck / Plantain / Parsley / Turmeric / Vanilla / Carrots / Pork Stew

Pairing: Montes Folly Syrah, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The classic Duck recipe received a major Caribbean update with the sweet plantain, the turmeric glazed carrot and the pork stew. Chef Jason was full of praise for Aruba’s tourist product and the level of service he encountered here. He managed to find all ingredients in our markets, he says, which is remarkable in the Caribbean.


Black Cake

Chef Urvin Croes

Black Cake / Passion Fruit / Chocolate / Rum / Raisin / Eggnog

Pairing: Quinta de Ventozelo LBV Port Douro, Portugal

A family recipe of Chef Urvin, an especially festive sweet crescent with passion fruit topping, looking like an abstract painting.

Plantain Soufflé

Cher Jason Howard

Plantain / Sweet Potato / Coffee / Rum

Pairing: Baron Philippe de Rothschild Mouton Cadet Sauternes Reserve, Bordeaux. France

I dug into my souffle, warm, fluffy and sweet, under the baked dome. Made with plantains? That was totally different and a wow.


Thank-you, chefs and staff for the experience.

Chef Urvin reports being inspired and motivated, by his interaction with Chef Jason.

Chef Jason vowed to be back, impressed with the passion and professionalism he found @Infini.

Both chefs are committed, they say, to bring forward modern progressive Caribbean Cuisine, now more than ever!

Special thanks to Ashwin Maduro, Chef de Cuisine, Jessica Theysen, Restaurant Manager, Jean Claud, Pastry Chef, Gerald Guerero, Chef De Partie, Cooks Shakeem and Caroline, Waiter Aldrin and dishwasher Jesus.


Kailo Vrolijk, Arion wine company, did an exceptional job with the pairings. No wonder, he has been with Arion Wine Company for five year, and is heading next month to the USA to attend WSET3, an intense wine course that dives into many additional elements of wines from around the world, an advanced, international certification.

+1-305-420-6432 (USA)

+297-280-8869 or +297-699-3982 (Aruba)

Or send an email to [email protected]


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August 18, 2022
Rona Coster