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Support Two Locals on a Culinary Internship in Bulgaria!

by | Jul 11, 2023 | Events, Restaurants & Dining

Two Locals from Bonaire are embarking on an 8-week culinary internship in Bulgaria!

Reserve your spot at a few delicious fundraising events to support a culinary internship.

If you have visited Bonaire, you may have dined at Sweeti Bakery, Blue Lagun Cafe or Ocean Oasis. Hensmir Jeomar Arrindell, chef at Ocean Oasis, and Elise Arrindell-Weerstand, owner and baker at Sweeti Bakery and Blue Lagun Café, are both embarking on an exciting 8-week culinary internship in Bulgaria, aiming to elevate their culinary skills.

With a vision to create unforgettable meals that pay homage to Bonaire’s traditions, the Bonaire native chef, Hensmir seeks to bring the island’s cuisine to the next level of fine dining. In a letter expressing his passion and ambitions, Hensmir shares his commitment to representing Bonaire in every dish served to his guests.

“I would love to widen my horizon and knowledge to make a memorable meal for every visitor and to be an ambassador for the culinary world of Bonaire” says Hensmir.

When Hensmir is not working at Ocean Oasis, he dedicates his time to educating children at Nature Cooking School. With a heartfelt desire to make a positive impact, he teaches them essential skills in growing, harvesting, and preparing their own food.

Hensmir expresses, “Going on a trip like this will show our youth the possibilities of our amazing industry and island. I started as a dishwasher and now I’m a chef in one of the best restaurants on the island. This would never happen if no one gave me this chance to start cooking.”

As the owner of Sweeti Bakery Bonaire and Blue Lagun Cafe, tourism holds great significance for Elise. Education and personal development are core values she holds close to her heart.

“In my bakery, I offer a learning place to students of different levels, and I provide workshops to incarcerated individuals and students from SGB,” says Elise.

Elise is actively involved in shaping the Culinary Capital project on Bonaire, contributing valuable insights and ideas. Her commitment to promoting culinary education within the tourism sector is evident.

“I envision a future where culinary education and international collaborations empower Bonaire’s tourism sector. Through this initiative, we aim to bridge the gap between Bonaire and international educational institutions, fostering growth and innovation. The school in Bulgaria offers affordable and highly professional tailor-made programs specifically designed for students from Bonaire”; says Elise.

Raising funds for the culinary internship abroad.

An 8-week culinary internship in Bulgaria can be expensive, so they combined their expertise and organized a few delicious fundraiser events in July. TCB also stepped in and honored them with a scholarship covering school fees, but more is needed.

Upcoming fundraiser events

  • July 15th –  Elise’s Summer Brunches at Blue Lagun Cafe
  • July 29th – Local Chefs Night: 5 courses by 5 amazing chefs!

Invite a few friends and make your reservations in advance. Let’s help Hensmir and Elise reach their fundraising goals while dining on delicious food! For more details, visit the Calendar of Events page.


(Source: TCB, Sweeti Bakery, Blue Lagun Cafe)

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Tanya Deen has been living in Bonaire since December 2016. She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and enjoys underwater and bird photography. Tanya is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.
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