XpBonaire IslandLife Feature Story
Celebrating an occasion on Bonaire is very special. Nature not only provides us with the best locations and the perfect climate with almost guaranteed favorable weather conditions, but on Bonaire, we do love food and our chefs are proud and passionate about their profession.
Vernon Martijn, better known as “Nonchi”, is one of those passionate chefs. You might recognize him since his picture is on the mural painting still showcased at the “Top” supermarket down town. Nonchi grew up in a Bonairean family who owned and worked in their hospitality businesses. As a young boy, he already knew that food would be his life’s choice.
Born on Bonaire, Nonchi and his family left Bonaire for the Netherlands when he was 7 years old. Growing up in the European Netherlands, he chose to study hospitality. After successfully completing his education, he worked for 3 years, mostly in catering businesses, before he returned to Bonaire. Even though Nonchi enjoyed his time in the Netherlands, he wanted to return to his homeland and do something for the island.
On his return to Bonaire, he started working at Rum Runners. First as sous chef and then worked his way up to become the chef. One day an acquaintance pointed out that becoming a school teacher would be the right thing for Nonchi. According to the school, he did not have the appropriate education to teach, but they quickly came back to him. After taking additional teaching courses, he was ready to teach the students all the ins and outs of their chosen profession and has done so for almost 20 years.
Working together with young professionals is fun and exciting. Nonchi still keeps in touch with his former students, who are now spread all over the island, to see their professional development in the island’s restaurant and hotel businesses.
His teaching job came with lots of work, but steady working hours, so Nonchi had spare time to help out his mother at the local Rose restaurant in Rincon and he joined the Culinary Team that had just been established a couple of years earlier.
Some 10 years ago, Nonchi slowly started up his own catering business, Paradise Catering, offering local and international food.
The Royal Family
During those years, Nonchi had the honor to cater several times for the royal family, for Princess Beatrix and her husband Prince Claus. Later, when their son became our new King, he organized the reception for him on Bonaire. Nonchi’s biggest catering event so far was the annual King’s Games, an event for school children, where he catered for 2,400 guests in the island’s stadium.
Paradise Catering offers food, beverage and service for any event for 50 or more people. They offer a variety of options for local, regional or international food and you will be able to discuss all your wishes for your special event with this experienced company. Paradise Catering offers anything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to snacks, BBQ and so much more. From conch, pastechies and quesadillas to scallops, lamb, BBQ, steaks, stobas, and salads, whatever your heart wishes for.
Paradise Catering has a whole list of buffets and options you can choose from, making it much easier for you to plan your event. If you are interested in planning an event with Paradise Catering, please contact Nonchi for a meeting and he will go through it all with you.
Phone +599 77795 90/701 95 90
Cooperate Events | Celebrations | BBQ