Southern Charms from the Sea
► A Q&A with Executive Chef Teddy Bouroncle of Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is kicking up its culinary game with a trio of first-class cooks who have put together an incredible spread at La Vista, the hotel’s signature restaurant. Executive chef, Teddy Bouroncle, comes to Aruba from the JW Marriott Hotel Cusco and brings worldly influence and an extensive resume to Aruba Marriott’s food and beverage program.
— By Timothy Dugdale
— Photography: Kenneth Theysen
Executive sous-chef Miguel Garcia and executive sous-chef Romero Penacino have been brought on board to assist in overseeing all culinary operations under chef
Bouroncle. A Peruvian native with more than 10 years of culinary experience, chef
Bouroncle has cooked all over the world from Columbia, to Spain, Singapore and the United States. Having held various culinary positions since starting his career in 2002, chef Bouroncle has refined his craft at a number of world-renowned hotels and restaurants. In his new role at the Aruba Marriott, chef Bouroncle oversees all daily kitchen operations and menus ensuring the highest standard of culinary excellence throughout the property’s seven bars and restaurants.
Chef Penacino also brings valuable food and beverage experience and an international flair having held the position of restaurant supervisor and restaurant chef at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort for five years before joining the Aruba Marriott. Chef Penacino started his career as line cook at the Hotel Meliá in Argentina in 2000 and gained valuable work experience as kitchen sous-chef, second cookline, junior sous-chef and restaurant supervisor in Argentina and Cayman Islands throughout his career.
With over 23 years of food service industry experience around the world, chef Garcia brings an impressive knowledge of restaurant operations to Aruba Marriott. Chef Garcia began his career in 1991 at the Hyatt Cerromar in Puerto Rico and was most recently kitchen and food and beverage director at the Occidental Grand Aruba.
The trio’s first order of business was creating the new seafood sensation buffet at La Vista Restaurant. Formerly offering an Italian menu, this new buffet concept is available five nights a week and consists of the island’s first raw bar, a grilled-to-order fish station and a ceviche station, influenced by chef Bouroncle’s native Peru. Through the combination of strengths from the new executive food and beverage staff and under the leadership of chef Bouroncle, the Marriott clearly intends to wow its guests.
TD: What was the rational for switching from Italian cuisine to a combination of land and sea buffet?
TB: To cater to the needs of the tourist coming to the island looking for fresh seafood while also capturing the meat lovers.
TD: How have internet review sites changed the nature of hospitality and cooking at your restaurant?
TB: The review sites helps us focus in on what the customers truly want and as a result make it easier for us to meet their needs and requests. It also assists us in improving the overall service quality offered at our restaurants.
TD: How have customers and their expectations changed over the past five years?
TB: The tourists nowadays visit the island and want a more than just sun, sand and sea. They want the authentic Aruban experience. As a result, they are much more eager and open to trying local food options. Thus, as the expectations have changed, we have also adapted our food options and now offer more local dishes prepared with local ingredients.
Recently, we have introduced the Taste of Aruba Menu at Simply Fish Restaurant, which is a special menu consisting of local dishes prepared with locally produced items such as locally farmed pumpkins, the famous local Madame Jeanette hot sauce ‘pica di papaya’, coconut milk and locally caught mahi-mahi fish.
TD: What do you consider to be the major challenges for hospitality on Aruba?
TB: The main challenge is that because Aruba is such a small island not much is locally produced, so the majority of food items needs to be imported from abroad. As a result making it more expensive to purchase and resell on restaurant menus.
TD: What do you consider to be the key ingredients for a restaurant’s success like La Vista on Aruba?
TB: A restaurant that offers a combination of local flavor and culture with new and innovative culinary techniques that will differentiate the restaurant within the market.
TD: What are the dishes you enjoy cooking the most and why?
TB: Peruvian ceviche is one of my favorite dish to prepare, because it is a dish consisting of fresh ingredients and you customize it as you wish.
TD: Peru is a country of vast contrasts between the sea and the mountains. Are there any little known dishes from Peru that you think would do well in Aruba?
TB: Peruvian ceviche, of course. We have introduced it at Waves Beach Bar & Grill and it has been a big hit. And seafood picante (picante de mariscos) – consists of seafood mix prepared with tomatoes, onions, Peruvian chili paste, pisco (drink made of grapes), heavy cream, cilantro and red bell peppers. You can have it with rice or potatoes.
La VistaAruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Lloyd G. Smith Blvd. 101