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Calling All Foodies: A One-of-a-Kind Culinary Experience This Weekend

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By Tina Causey-Bislick

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino’s culinary team, headed by Aruba’s Iron Chef, Teddy Bouroncle, embodies a spirit of culinary camaraderie, welcoming collaborations with chefs from all over the world.  Last year, they welcomed celebrated Peruvian chef, Diego Muñoz, for a sold-out, five-course wine pairing event at La Vista restaurant, and earlier this summer, we enjoyed the unique culinary chaos concept of El Diablito, aka Chef Emilio Macías from Mexico, at Marriott’s The Lobby.  This weekend, we can look forward to more gastronomic adventures from top-rated Latin American chef Nicolas Lopez, the mastermind behind two of South America’s top 50 restaurants, including his current passion, Bogotá’s Villanos en Bermudas.

Like other top chefs, Nicolas takes his show on the road.  The nomadic chef has recently made guest appearances in Bahrain, Mexico, Peru, Greece, Spain, and Panama, sharing his decidedly unique cuisine.

And decidedly unique he is.  This rebel chef looks the part—his untamed mane of curls, scruffy beard, and tattoos pair perfectly with his devil-may-care attitude. The chef’s rebellious approach to cuisine—he often devises dishes on the fly and rarely repeats the same meal twice—requires not just an open mouth, but also an open mind.  If you are lucky enough to get a table at Villanos en Bermudas, don’t expect a menu.  Chef Nicolas and his restaurant partner, Chef Sergio Meza (from Mexico), create a new ten-course menu every week.  They believe a dish’s complexity is not in the vast amount of ingredients; the complexity is in the flavor, and the flavor comes from the simple combination of typically just three to four ingredients.

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What can guests at Marriott’s La Vista expect this weekend?  Five courses will be expertly paired with wines by local wine specialists Pepia Est.  I got a sneak peek of the menu: scallops with avocado, caviar, and wild rice paired with Sauvignon Blanc will start the evening off; a Moscato will usher in oysters with a spicy coconut-mango sauce; shrimp with foie gras, green apples, and edible flowers will be paired with Riesling; duck breast with hazelnut cream and shitake mushrooms will be complemented by Spanish Ladron; and the finale will be an intriguing combination of—get ready for it—grapefruit curd, caramelized almonds, olives, and capers.

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Reservations can be made for this Friday or Saturday evening (520-6343 / 520-6652 / 520-6670). The cost is $125 and includes all five courses with wine pairings. The wines alone, I am told, have a value of $125, which makes this upscale dining event a value!

*Images from the website of Villanos en Bermudas.

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