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Caribbean cuisine and caves: The Paesch family combine their passions
Caribbean Cuisine and Caves may seem like an odd combination, but it’s perfectly natural for a family that has committed itself to following its passions. Harold and Anky Paesch have done just that, all rooted in their love of One happy island.
For the Love of Caribbean Cuisine
After nearly twenty years (1991-2010) of managing one of Aruba’s most beloved restaurants, Chez Mathilde, Harold decided it was time to open his own establishment. His dream was a restaurant that presented just the right combination of elements he thought were important. To him that meant first and foremost creating a family-friendly restaurant. After all, he and his wife Anky have six children, and Aruba itself is considered a family-friendly island in the Dutch Caribbean.
Second on his agenda, stemming from his love of Aruba, Harold wanted to make it clear that Sweet Peppers would be open and welcoming to everyone – locals and tourists alike. To that end, Sweet Peppers id renowned for offering very special dining deals for people who call Aruba their permanent home. At the same time, Sweet Peppers is also a favorite among tourists, not only for its warm welcome (something for which Aruba and its people are already well known), but also Harold’s approach to the menu.
Thinking back to his own childhood and youth, food played a central role in his family. Meals were a time not only for strengthening family ties, but also for welcoming others to the table for a meaningful shared experience. In keeping with his idea to cater to both locals and tourists, Harold made the decision to offer a diverse menu featuring both Aruban cuisine as well as dishes with an international flare.
The Caribbean cuisine at Sweet Pepper’s includes touches of Harold’s childhood, such as the Mango Creole sauce served with many fish dishes that was his mother’s recipe. One of the best nights of the week to enjoy that sauce is on Tuesday when Sweet Peppers features All-You-Can-Eat Grouper – locally caught fresh and grilled to perfection. Sweet Peppers pioneered the All-You-Can-Eat Grouper concept, which has caught on with other restaurants. Other theme nights contribute to the popularity of Sweet Peppers with tourists and locals alike, including Italian Night on Mondays, Karaoke Night on Wednesdays, Finger-Lickin’ Fish Night on Fridays, and All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Ribs on Sundays.
From Caribbean Cuisine to Cave Hunting
With the restaurant so well established, the Paesch family has been able to develop its new passion: Cave Hunters Aruba (see https://www.facebook.com/Arubacavehunters). Harold and Anky wanted to be sure to pass their love of and appreciation for One Happy Island on to their children. There are many hidden places off the beaten path on Aruba, and the Paesch family is seeking them out one by one. They had heard rumors of a new natural pool being discovered not far from the Bushiribana Gold Mine ruins along the North Coast. All it took was that first adventure and they were hooked!
Now the Paesch family goes on adventures whenever they can to find Aruba’s hidden and unknown treasures that most people don’t know about. The goal is to help everyone better appreciate just how special One Happy Island really is. This family hobby has taken on epic proportions as Anky, Harold, and the kids consider it their personal mission to raise public awareness about Aruba’s unique natural and cultural heritage, and the need to preserve both and keep the island clean.
The Paesch family’s adventures have included exploring the phosphate mines dating back to the 1800s, and of course the gold mines created after the precious metal was discovered on the island in 1824. Then there’s Black Stone Beach, the most hidden of all of Aruba’s beaches with its three little natural bridges, where pirate ships would sneak in to raid the Spanish colonists.
Since that very first expedition, Cave Hunters Aruba has discovered or explored another 5 natural pools and six natural bridges. The number of people who join them on their adventures includes a growing group of 20-40 fellow explorers. Anyone who wants to experience the thrill of discovering something new is welcome to join in the fun and help pass on a greater appreciation of Aruba’s natural and cultural heritage to younger generations.
If you want to get to know a family that loves Aruba and helps people see all it has to offer, come meet the Paesch family at Sweet Peppers and go on an Aruban adventure with Cave Hunters Aruba. Sweet Peppers is located within the Caribbean Palm Village Resort at Noord 43-E, Palm Beach Road, Noord, Aruba. Telephone: +297 586 0740. Website: http://sweetpeppersaruba.restaurant.
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