Not just one, but three chef-owned restaurants

I have been writing about Chef Teddy since 2015, when he first arrived on the island and made a splash. He may have landed here before, but we really noticed him, big time, when he won the Aruba Iron Chef competition, organized by Island Temptations Magazine.

At the time, we said that Chef Bouroncle is a Peruvian native with more than a dozen years of culinary experience.  The chef began his career in the United States, while also garnering further international experience and honing his individual culinary style with posts in Spain, Colombia, and Singapore. Prior to his hiring here, as the food and beverage director of the Marriott Aruba Complex, he was executive chef and food and beverage director at JW Marriott Cusco, in Peru.

For many years, Teddy oversaw all daily kitchen operations and menus at the various restaurants and bars of the three on-island Marriott properties, and then he decided to spread his wings and test the water on his own.

As we all realized, he really revolutionized the food quality and concepts served at the Marriott, at all outlets, and assembled an impressive culinary brigade — they could handle his departure, and he was off and running.

Teddy spent some time as a consultant, and then, more than one year ago, opened Lima Bistro which was received here with open arms, and became a top rated restaurant, practically overnight.

I make it sound easy, but rest assured it was a monumental task.

He also forged an interesting partnership with the developer of Harbour House, gaining a friendship, determined to explore ways to further develop the Harbour Walk, at edge of the water in Oranjestad.

I have also been writing about chef Ever, since 2015. He was the young gun in the Aruba Iron Chef competition, turning 30 years old just shortly before.  Born in Venezuela but raised in Aruba, Ever entered the apprenticeship program at the local vocational high school at the age of 15, and for five years combined school and hands-on training in some of Aruba’s finest restaurants under the watchful eye of the island’s top chefs. He worked at several fine dining places and at competition time was executive chef of the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, overseeing the menus and kitchen operations. We predicted that Ever was on a culinary fast track, deftly composing beautiful dishes with subtle and complex flavors.  We though he would achieve greatness.

We were right. Ever went on to become the Executive Sous Chef of the Marriott Complex and worked with Teddy side by side, and then he decided to spread his wings.

Ever Restaurant Aruba is opening mid-February. I visited. I was surprised. You would be too. The entrance is hidden behind a picture gallery wall, and as it glides open, you are swallowed into an intimate space, a cooking-studio where Chef Ever will prepare dinner for just 18 guests, with a 4 or 7 course menu. The restaurant also includes two lounge areas, and the idea is that just like a speakeasy, the secret place will always make menu, cocktail and wine changes, with guests enjoying more freedom about their dining choices.

Urban legend says that Chef Ever won the Lotto, and thus decided to join Chef Teddy on the Harbour Walk.

Both chefs laugh at the story, they have always wanted to continue their collaboration, and while indeed Chef Ever was lucky to win, the decision to become Teddy neighbor on the Harbour Walk was made pre-pandemic, and in view of Lima’s meteoric success, a group of local business people came together to make the investment and get the show on the road.

In the middle of that all, Azar Wood Fire Cuisine opened on Palm Beach and was received enthusiastically. Chef Teddy is at the helm with some help from his friends, Carlos in the dining room, and others as investors. His mood board was ready, he says, he was just waiting for the stars to align.

He always wanted to open a Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken restaurant; they were mulling locations over in their heads when the Palm Beach space entered the conversation. Chef Teddy thought it was a great choice, he was thinking about it, he says, since 2014, but he would have to sell 5,000 chicken a day to afford the rent, so he thought the concept over.

Wood Grill.

Who doesn’t love the flavor of food cooked over open fire?

It was a huge opportunity and chef Teddy was not going to lose it, he found the owner of the real estate receptive, and decided to jump in the fire.

So, a Latino kind of Steakhouse with other influences, borrowed from Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Mexico, with frequently revised menus, top quality ingredients, inventive cocktails, a solid South American, French and Italian wine list. It has been a success from day one, and you’d better show up on time for your reservation, otherwise….

Azar Wood Fire Cuisine is planning to open soon for Sunday lunch, and I bet it will be popular.



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February 06, 2023
Rona Coster