The Ostrich Farm Proudly Presents Chef Thomas Boland

One of the most entertaining vacation activities is a visit to the Ostrich Farm, a popular stopover on most island jeep tours.

Locals and visitors enjoy lunch at the farm, as the Savana Lodge Bar & Restaurant serves a memorable African/Dutch menu, and features a well-stocked African Art Boutique.

The highlight of the visit is always the fun interaction with the resident ostriches and emus, including a trip to the incubators and the bird kindergarten, housing baby ostriches, baby emus, baby goats, baby geese, and even a cute baby pot-bellied pig!

Some members of the local press were recently invited to meet the farm’s latest recruit, Chef Thomas Boland whose pedigree boasts direct, genetic lineage to one of Aruba most-decorated and beloved chefs: Matt Boland, the Executive Chef of the Westin Aruba Resort.

Chef Thomas, Matt’s handsome son, first headed to the kitchen at the age of four, when he made breakfast for his two other siblings. He distinctly remembers finding his vocation right there and then, making irresistible bacon and eggs, realizing that cooking is in his blood.

As the kitchen artist at the Ostrich Farm, Thomas introduced a few of his own favorite meals to the lunch menu such as braised short ribs, slow cooked pork shoulder and the island’s longest sandwich, a delicious 23” baguette stuffed with generously sliced, 3-hour, slow-cooked, braised beef in wine sauce!

The jaw-breaker is escorted to the table by the enthusiastic chef, served on a giant platter, au jus, with French mustard on the side.

We devoured half of that sandwich, and took the other half home, in a box, and it tasted equally great in the evening, for dinner.

The family-style sandwich was paired with family style Dutch pea soup, served in a cactus bowl, brimming with Ham, sausage and carrots.

Thomas reports he harvests the cacti himself, from the nearby cuncucu and that the Erwtensoep soup recipe was born in his childhood home-kitchen!

An intuitive chef, Thomas also works wonders with Ostrich meat which finds its way into Ostrich Carpaccio, Ostrich Sate, Ostrich Shoarma, Ostrich Steak, and Jerk Ostrich, beside Omelets, Burgers and Oriental Stir-Fries.

At the end of our tasty lunch Chef Thomas took his white jacket and toque off and toured us at the farm introducing us to several Ostrich pairs, now at the beginning of the breeding season. It was a National Geographic moment when on cue Mr Ostrich flapped his wings excitedly and poked around the ground with his bill, triggering Mrs Ostrich who ran around in circles, flapped her wings and also poked around, before  collapsing on the ground in a heap of feathers, allowing him to mount her, shaking, winding and spiraling his head in all direction!

Mr Ostrich concluded his unexpected performance with a loud honking, his eyes rolling, then got up in a huff to nonchalantly strut away, leaving his wife and the scrutiny of our cameras.

It was a surprise reality TV moment, and not usually included in the regular program. Feeding the Ostriches is however always on the program, and they are eternally hungry, and fun!

Marjan Walhain, the farm’s General Manager reports the farm is available for special events, birthdays and anniversaries, and with the Ostriches in charge of the entertainment and Thomas in charge of the kitchen, a success production is guaranteed.

For more information go to the website:

Tours are available daily every half hour from 9 – 4pm. No reservations needed for small groups. Hotel transfer are available!

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January 12, 2012
Rona Coster