Published on:

Coconut Telefax May 20, 2019

New Florin Notes Unveiled

Xiomara Ruiz-Maduro and Evelyn Wever-Croes joined the president of the Central Bank, Jane Semeleer, to help unveil the new designs for the local currency notes, the florin. It was a seven-year project, but it finally came to conclusion. The series, titled “Life In Aruba,” features the island’s flora, fauna, cultural heritage, monuments, and prominent places. Both ministers congratulated the president of the Central Bank on the beauty, security features, and other special characteristics of the new currency, in circulation soon!

Aruban florin bills
Aruban florin
new Aruban florin bills

The design  challenge was entrusted to four leading Aruban artists: Elvis Tromp, Nigel Matthew, Elisa Lejuez, and Alfonso de Windt. The winner was Nigel Matthew, an art teacher and painter, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in education in 2015, and veteran designer of many of Aruba’s beautiful stamps.


Congratulations to Masters of the Craft!

I had the honor of serving as a judge for the in-house culinary competition among Aruba Marriott’s F&B culinary associates. The winner, Miguel Angel Coronado, ten years in F&B, three years with the resort, will go on to compete in the regional and later hopefully the semifinals, culminating in the Crowning of the Master of the Craft in the fall in the presence of Mr. Marriott.

The idea was to create a dish using the mystery ingredient, which was the concomber di Aruba, yes, the humble cucumber.

Miguel Angel prepared a fish dish. He cooked and seasoned it perfectly, and the presentation of the plate was gorgeous. In my secret diary, he got a few additional points for looking like Maluma. Chris Webbs had a fantastic fish dish with mango, with just four years in F&B and six months as an associate. He cooks with abandon and confidence, and the sparkle in his eyes reveals the formation of a celebrity chef.

Master of the Craft Marriott
Masters of the Craft Marriott Aruba

Nasir Soeratini, the only woman in the competition, 20 years in F&B and six months at the Marriott, used the cucumber in a tasty ragout. Jose Castillo, three years in F&B at the resort and finishing the challenging contest first, used the cucumber in a pesto.

Masters of the Craft Marriott

Congratulations to Arturo Delgado for a great emcee job and competitors Adrian Florez and Leandro Orozco for surprising us with such tasty dishes in just 40 minutes.

Masters of the Craft Marriott Aruba


Dinner & Dessert

Restaurant Anno 1877. No need to remortgage your home or sell your car: this place is reasonably priced and charming. The official ribbon-cutting took place on May 5, and the kitchen and dining room are now ready to receive patrons looking for tasty food in European portions and at fair prices!

The old cunucu house on Wilhelminastraat used to be the home of Cuba’s Cookin’. Today it hosts Chef Linda Pool and Sous Chef Patricia Werleman, backed up by partner Chef Annie de Weerd. Chef Annie will operate the F&B at Talk of the Town Resort until later this year, at which point she will join Linda in the kitchen at Restaurant Anno 1877.

Anno 1877 Aruba

Chef Linda has a loyal local following, a clientele that is fond of her classic French/International cooking and likes to attend her special monthly culinary events, which will also continue at the new location.

If you remember, she ran Twister Cafe for a few years, but recently a friend told her about the historic Wilhelminastraat location, prompting her to make the move.

Linda reports that her brother, bartender Henk Pool, doubled up as carpenter and built the dining room’s rustic tables and chairs. Tall and elegant maitre d’ Romalo de Graav is a familiar face, previously at Wilhelmina.

I look forward to the asparagus menu coming out soon!

Restaurant Anno 1877
Aruba Restaurant Anno 1877

For dessert, the Piece of Cake dessert truck in Tanki Leendert is a new out-of-the-box option, with a very young pastry chef, Kyle Ruiz, in charge. The initiative is to be admired.

Chef Ruiz, an EPI graduate who tested the water working for others, reached the conclusion he would like to work for himself.

Piece of Cake Aruba

The night we went by, Mom was in the driver’s seat of the dessert truck, and Kyle behind the counter. He offers classic Aruban desserts, cakes, cookies, tres leche, and quesillo.

My favorites, pruim and cashupete cakes, are on the menu, together with chateau, buracho, and druif. I hear the grape cake is special; it’s on my bucket list to try!

The truck is easy to find, adjacent to Stern Automotive. Kyle is hoping to get his permit soon so he can set up shop in a different neighborhood each night. Right now, the truck is parked on privately owned terrain until the bureaucrats complete the paperwork.


FAVI Mother’s Day Celebration at Riu Palace Antillas

The clients and volunteers of FAVI (the Aruban foundation for the visually impaired) celebrated Mother’s Day at Riu Palace Antillas with a delicious breakfast. The day started with some positive inspiration, as the volunteers dedicated a poem to each mother. Then they all enjoyed an elaborate breakfast prepared by the RIU staff.

RIU Palace Antillas
RIU Palace Antillas
RIU Palace Antillas

FAVI and its members enjoyed the Rimini restaurant, where some of the hotel’s culinary school interns helped organize the warm welcome. Charlène Marchena, in charge of activities at FAVI, expressed her gratitude on behalf of members who enjoyed having the opportunity to go out for Mother’s Day.

Genesis D’Jesus, EPI student interning at FAVI, secured the invitation and was rewarded with a return invite for Father’s Day.

FAVI helps guide those who are visually impaired in their personal development and integration. Riu Palace Antillas was happy to be part of this event and in some way give back to the community of Aruba. The resort is also happy to continue contributing to the foundation and its clients, said Randy Hernandis, entertainment officer at Riu Palace Antillas.

Riu Palace Aruba hotel management also celebrated Mother’s Day with their mother employees, who were surprised with mariachi music in the breakroom during lunch as well as fresh roses, delivered by members of management expressing gratitude and appreciation for their daily, tireless contributions.

RIU Palace Antillas Aruba
RIU Palace Antillas