Meet the Chefs
They say knowledge is power.
Menu International is a believer. That's why we are a trusted resource for travelers interested in getting the most out of their visit to Aruba. Over the past seventeen years, each Menu International issue has provided the sort of insights and tips that make a real difference on a vacation.
— By Timothy Dugdale and Amie Watson
— Photography: Kenneth Theysen
We explore both the latest global culinary trends and the unique cultural traditions of Aruban cuisine. In our 2017 issue we are introducing the island’s great chefs, putting faces onto the incomparable dining experiences you will enjoy. With Menu International as an informative and innovative resource, you will know more; and, the more you know, the more you will enjoy the magic of Aruba.
Chef Romeo Penacino brings valuable experience and international flair to Aruba Marriott’s Resort Complex. Having started his career in Argentina, he worked his way up the hotel industry, in Argentina and the Cayman Islands. For five years, Chef Penacino served as restaurant supervisor and chef at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, before joining the Aruba Marriott. In his role of Complex Executive Chef, Penacino oversees the operations of the twelve bars and restaurants of the complex, ensuring the highest standard of culinary excellence for the Aruba Marriott Resort, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club and Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club.
Birthplace: Emilio V. Bunge, Argentina
Favorite fruit: Watermelon
Favorite vegetable: Carrot
Favorite spice: Green peppercorn
Favorite dish: Fresh home-made ravioli
Favorite wine: Malbec
Favorite food city: San Francisco and New York
Favorite vacation destination: Any new place that combines a rich culture, nature and good food
An inspiring chef: Alain Ducasse and Francis Mallmann
Like many great chefs, Boris Druschkowitsch comes from a family with close ties to the hotel and restaurant world: both his parents worked in the hotel business, in Austria, and he grew up assisting hotel guests, and loving it. So it was only natural that, as a teenager who had found his passion, Druschkowitsch started his career at age fourteen, with an apprenticeship in one of Austria’s top five-star hotels.
Years later, in 2001, he left the Austrian snows for Aruba’s sandy beaches. Although he did return to Austria to start his own business, in 2009, he found himself unchallenged during the slower seasons, and missing Aruba, its perfect weather and the bustling Madame Janette restaurant. So he returned to his island home, in 2011, where his talent and passion have been pleasing thousands of foodies since.
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria
Favorite fruit: I love berries like raspberries, currants, strawberries and more
Favorite vegetable: The whole cabbage family
Favorite spice: Clove, caraway seeds, sea salt, among others
Favorite dish: Everything that comes out of my mom’s oven
Favorite wine: Red, Wimmer Zweigelt and white, Hugl-Wimmer Grüner Veltliner
Favorite food city: Vienna, Los Angeles and Miami
Favorite vacation destination: Kolbnitz, Austria, my hometown, where I can relax
An inspiring chef: Wolfgang Puck, Reinhard Ott, many others and, of course, my mom
Joyce de Cuba-Hüsken fell under the spell of cooking at the age of six, while cooking with her favorite aunt. After years of tireless dedication, her passion materialized into her very own wood-fire grill restaurant, in the heart of Oranjestad: Yemanja. De Cuba-Hüsken’s Indonesian heritage makes her naturally at ease with spices, while her intrepid nature allows her to boldly combine culinary traditions from South-East Asia, the Caribbean and neighboring Latin American countries. Always looking for an exciting symbiosis of textures, flavors and ingredients, de Cuba-Hüsken uses her travels as a means to draw inspiration and create a healthy, tasty menu - a quest reflected in Yemanja's organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices.
Birthplace: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Favorite fruit: Papaya
Favorite vegetable: Garlic
Favorite spice: Cumin
Favorite dish: Anything with bold, interesting flavors and textures
Favorite wine: For me, whiskey goes with everything
Favorite food city: New York, where you can find the world in one place
Favorite vacation destination: Anywhere, as long as I have some time off with my wife
An inspiring chef: My brother!!! Haha! Besides him, I think all the chefs I come in contact with, through the internet or through work, have a little bit to inspire me
With many years of expertise, Master Chef Vittorio Muscariello dedicates his practice to the art of Italian cuisine, with emphasis on the highest quality products and dishes. He is a member of the Associazione Professionali Cuochi Italiani and the Associazione Cuochi del Golfo Basso Lazio, and has received the Maestro di Cucina medal in 2000. In 2014 he was also awarded the Ospitalità Italiana, Quality Approved, by the Italian Government. Throughout his career, Muscariello has aimed to transfer his expertise of Italian cuisine to colleagues and teams in other countries.
Birthplace: Gaeta, Italy
Favorite fruit: Papaya
Favorite vegetable: Broccoli rabe (rapini)
Favorite spice: Pepperoncini
Favorite dish: Octopus
Favorite wine: Amarone
Favorite food city: Tuscany
Favorite vacation destination: Italy
An inspiring chef: Gualtiero Marchesi