A NYC Evening of Tastes, Sounds and Colors of Aruba

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Recently, during one of New York City’s cool, rainy days I made my way to The Kitchen NYC which had been converted to resemble a tropical, inviting environment, a lot warmer than what the weather outside was delivering. Taste of Aruba was a wonderful night where travelers and food lovers came together to be inspired by some of the best that this beautiful Caribbean island has to offer. Otmar Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Labor Affairs helped to paint the picture in my mind as he described the beauty of his country and the pride he felt for the heritage and diversity of the island’s people.

Otmar Oduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Labor Affairs

The visual was further complimented by the surrounding artwork of Aruban artist and fashion designer, Elisa Lejuez. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the charismatic and talented Jonathan Vieira, Aruban pianist and director of Aruba’s Center for the Performing Arts, Cas di Cultura. We spoke a lot about his love for his homeland and how it continuously serves to inspire him and those with whom he works, as well as his work to help bring awareness of the ever-growing cultural and artistic community of Aruba. Throughout the evening Mr. Viera delighted us with his music, bringing together all the various elements to really give us a true feel of Aruba. Each musical gift was delivered just as award-winning Aruban chef Urvin Croes, of White Modern Cuisine, presented us with a new dish.

Pianist Jonathan Viera, Artist Elisa Lejuez, and Chef Urvin Croes

Each dish demonstrated a commitment to stay true to the flavors of Aruba while showcasing the diversity of tastes and influences that have helped to shape the culinary scene on the island.

I want to say I had a favorite, but each dish was so unique in its own way that it’s hard to decide. I can say that I am excited about visiting the island and taste and see more of everything.

Lobster Salad: Maine lobster with a cilantro avocado creme, compressed watermelon, cashew nuts and a lemon and lime dressing.

Banana Stoba: Veal strip loin served with stewed plantains, semi-roasted tomatoes, plaintain chips, caramalized onions and soft polenta.

The dessert’s Mexican influence really appealed to me. Tres Lechi (three milk): Sponge cake served with an eggnog soup, vanilla milk custard, milk granita and Italian meringue.

As the evening went on it became clear to me why New Yorkers love Aruba so much: easy to get to, beautiful beaches (actually, Aruba is home to the “Top 25 Most Beautiful Beaches” of the world) and friendly people. But, I also think that what New Yorkers can most appreciate about Aruba is how much it is like our own city in that it represents a beautiful blend of so many different cultures, backgrounds, sounds and flavors – everything that makes living in NYC so excited, except with more color, more beach and more sun.

There really is no bad time to visit Aruba, but as the weather gets colder and you plan your holiday travels, it might be a nice little getaway option to consider. After such a wonderful evening making new friends who were great in sharing so much about their home, Aruba has definitely landed on my list of places to visit in 2013.

Thank you to Aruba Tourism and friends for such a fun night. To learn more and plan your travels, please visit Aruba.com.

Some photos courtesy of Aruba Tourism.



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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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2 Responses to A NYC Evening of Tastes, Sounds and Colors of Aruba

  1. Your Friends From Ar says:

    Hi Carol,

    We're so excited Aruba has landed on your "must visit" list for 2013, especially considering how well traveled you are! It was such a pleasure meeting you during our enchanting evening of Aruban Artistry, Culture and Cuisine. The talented Jonathan Vieira enjoyed sharing his story with you and knows you'll be just as captivated by his homeland when you visit!

    Masha Danki and wak bo pronto atrobe (English translation: Thank you very much and see you soon),

    Your friends in Aruba

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