Aqua Grill debuted on the Caribbean restaurant scene on the island of Aruba in 2002, boasting a menu of fresh seafood flown in daily from around the world, as well fresh catches harvested from local fisherman right off the island’s shores.
Set in a contemporary décor combining the traditions of a New England fish house with the ease and character of the Caribbean, it didn’t take long for Aqua Grill to enjoy a loyal local and tourist following on the island. The award-winning chef’s philosophy of combining both classic seafood dishes with contemporary cuisine and presentations quickly put Aqua Grill on the short list of must-dines with the concierges of Aruba’s fine resorts. Aqua Grill also reaped accolades from such prestigious travel publications as Fodor’s, who says, “This hip restaurant is heaven on earth for seafood lovers, who will find fresh fish galore…”
The success of Aqua Grill in Aruba translates to what is now a stateside seafood sensation. The fresh-only seafood philosophy and the spirit of warm, friendly island service will be offered at the restaurant’s first U.S. location in South Florida opening soon.
A native of Aruba, Shirley Barrow was educated in Holland. She then traveled the world including Europe and the USA and worked in the Bahamas and South Africa before returning to her native Caribbean island.
Her diverse background also reflects itself in her choice of careers; Shirley successfully managed international gaming casinos. A passionate golf player, she qualified for a World Championship and turned Golf Professional shortly thereafter. As the Golf Pro of Tierra del Sol in Aruba she was recognized by the World Golf Teachers Federation as one of the top 60 teaching professionals in the world.
On her travels Shirley also had the opportunity to sample and study world cuisine and wine pairing which led to her third and current profession, managing fine dining restaurants for over a decade, and putting her multi-talented, multi-lingual leadership style to good use at Aqua Grill, as an excellent role model and inspiration to her colleagues and friends.
A native of Delaware, USA, and a graduate of the Johnson & Wales culinary college in Rhode Island, Chef Scott had amassed over thirty years of regional cooking experience in hotels and restaurants as he chartered his course though New England, New Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean before making Aruba his home. Along with formal studies, his diversity as a chef is also due to his interest and university degree in Art and Cultural Anthropology, as well as his wife’s native cooking. She is from Colombia.
Chef Scott has represented Aruba in numerous Caribbean culinary competitions, garnering a number of important medals and often serves as coach to young chefs and the judge in local culinary events. From his perspective, cuisine is the art form that most distinctly expresses one’s national, regional and ethnic identity and it is his aim to pay tribute to the varied cultural influences of the Caribbean and his American homeland while at the helm at Aqua Grill. Chef Scott has been the resident culinary wizard at the restaurant since it opened in 2002.