Pepe Marin: Have Camera Will Travel

Pepe Marin is a self-styled, Spanish-born explorer who happens to be producing 24-minute documentaries for El, a popular online community featuring movies, recipes, contests and mostly famous, but also not-so-famous chefs from around the globe.

He already went around the world twice and has his own YouTube channel where he posts his global findings. Besides, he is prominently featured on, and has a great following in Spanish-speaking Europe and South American.

How does he do it? He travels, meets a local connector, and the rest is history, all he needs is to indentify that first connector who give him an “in” to the local community.

He was lucky to find Mariza Garcia on Aruba. He found her on Face book. He was going to produce a movie here about expat Argentinean Chefs for the South American market and a movie about expat Mexican Chefs for the Mexico-Caribbean market. Mariza, who knows all addresses, opened all doors.

No, he did not want to go to the tourism authority, he explains. He was looking for spontaneous and authentic footage which he believed he could identify, and approach on his own.

I met Pepe on his last evening on the island, at a cookout on Eagle Beach. The friends he made here during his ten-day stay all came together to eat and drink in community, one more time, and to shoot a nice outro for his movies.

Pepe reports he first met executive chef Romeo Penacino, of the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino. Romeo, an avid diver took Pepe diving, and introduced him to the fabulous kitchen of Ruth Chris. Then they drove down to Savaneta one afternoon and Romeo got into the Zeerover pit and cleaned fish with the local fishermen, all captured on camera, following a great dinner.

The local lion fish hunters took Pepe on a mission to spear as much fish as possible. Aruba’s champion lion fish hunter Candicio van der Biezen, escorted Pepe on that adventure, then Candicio’s wife Lyssette, the executive chef of Pure Lime, Divi Resorts, a Mexican-born chef, made an amazing fish chowder, for the cookout on Eagle Beach. It tasted like heaven. Luciano Mazzeo, of the Environmental Education Foundation, also a lion fish hunter contributed greatly to that unforgettable soup!

And just to make sure Pepe doesn’t lose any weight while on the island Ruben, El Mexicano, from the famous Palm Beach food truck, set up the grill on the back of his truck, and served Mexican drunken steak, under the stars, with a side of hot, homemade onion-cumin salsa.

That’s not everything. One night, just to break things up a bit, Pepe learned the secrets of Dominican Arroz con Coco, with freshly grated pulp, forever changing the way he looked at long-grain rice. He captured it all on video. He also has footage from a spectacular sailing trip on board the Montforte luxury yacht, dinner on the Pelican Pier, and the San Nicholas street art murals.

Pepe swears Aruba’s people are the nicest, he’s enjoyed his time here, coming from Colombia, going on to Grand Cayman. He was treated like a VIP, he says, and now has materials for two movies, one for Mexico and the Caribbean and one for Argentina & Chile, starring Aruba’s eclectic kitchens and their diverse and crazy chefs.

Watch the 24-minute programs on the Elgourmet channel later this year, following Pepe Marin’s visit to Aruba. He is a journalist who films the best Latin American chefs in action.

Share on:

August 11, 2017
Rona Coster