The Flavors of Peru, Make a Reservation

Peruvian food. We can never get enough of Peruvian food and I think we should thank the humble country-chefs for being so open minded and welcoming foreign influences into their kitchens, which made it so interesting to the palate, hot, and tart, creamy and crunchy, the marriage of seemingly contradictory opposites, we always seek in a dish.

Peruvian cuisine, the way we know it today was born when indigenous cooks met European immigrants of Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Japanese origins. That encounter regularly fused fresh local ingredients such as corn, potatoes – with more than 3,800 potato varieties – and quinoa, with different cooking techniques from around the globe.

And as this turns out, the whole world is now interested in native Peruvian foods and culinary traditions.   The cooking style burst upon the world stage on the wings of the imagination of two legendary chefs, Gaston Acurio and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, rising to fame and fortune armed with a bunch of peppers, and extraordinary noses! Consider this: There are 3 Peruvian restaurants among “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.”

Aruba is blessed with its own share of fine Peruvian restaurants. These taught us to love ceviche and Aji de Gallina, but the evolution of the cuisine continues and this week we are fortunate to have on the island some outstanding culinary ambassadors, to cook for us at the Ritz Carlton, on the weekend of October 13th and 14th.

Mark your calendar, then make reservations at Solanio for the upcoming Flavors of Peru. The dinner will be hosted by newly appointed Executive Chef Rafael Lopez-Aliaga, who is, you guessed, a native of Peru. Rafael is planning a five-course journey throughout Peru’s mountains, rivers, valleys and coastline, escorting our taste buds into culinary nirvana.

Chef Rafael will not be alone in the kitchen, he is being joined by chef Valerie Schroth, the pastry chef of JW Marriott Lima, and our own Aruba Iron Chef competition winner, Teddy Bouroncle, the Food & Beverage Director of the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino, who is a magician in the kitchen.

Communications Manager, Yahira Santori reports that dinner will kick off with the classic Peruvian cocktail, the Pisco Sour, the national cocktail, a light and sweet appetite stimulator, then next, guests will enjoy Peruvian king crab, yellow potatoes and an avocado emulsion, followed by grouper ceviche marinated in a sundried chili sauce, and a epic Cordero Norteno, Peruvian lamb stew, before ending with Suspiro Limeno, a creamy dulce de leche custard topped with fluffy meringue.

Peruvians have always been crazy about their own food. I joined them in 2001 when Chef Nobu published his cook book, then went on to open amazing restaurants around the globe. Nobu definitely contributed to the recognition of that kitchen and the mind-blowing success of his restaurants further exported Peruvian elements into our culinary dictionary.

Chef Rafael says he is delighted to join the dynamic team at The Ritz-Carlton, and that he finds it exhilarating to bring people together through food, creating unique and memorable dining experiences for people from all walks of life. While his culinary roots are firmly planted in Peru, he will be further incorporating the flavor of Aruba into the eight food outlets of the The Ritz-Carlton, adding his personal and sophisticated techniques to his culinary creations.

Solanio is open for dinner daily from 6 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Louella Brezovar reports: The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba recently introduced the new Ritual Coffee Culture coffee shop to the island, and announced that the New York City Italian eatery Casa Nonna will open at the hotel in 2018 – the first location outside of its New York City flagship location. To learn more about these and other dining options at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba visit

TRIVIA: According to the Censo, there are 550 naturalized Peruvian born citizens here, with Dutch passports, which were eligible to vote last month; 272 women, 278 men.

Join the event at Solanio restaurant, this weekend.  For reservations, please contact the hotel’s concierge at (+297) 527-2217; $59p.p., cocktails 7pm, dinner 7:30pm

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October 10, 2017
Rona Coster