Posted by Aruba Daily on October 17th, 2012
ORANJESTAD- Popular Restaurateur Marcel van Berkum passed away unexpectedly in the early hours of October 15, 2012. Marcel leaves behind two sons Michel and Philippe van Berkum, their mother Ulla van Berkum who live together in Sweden, cousin Erik van Berkum in Niagara Falls, sister and brother Steven van Berkum in Holland, lifelong friend Paul Schmit in France and his 1,000s of friends, fans and colleagues here on Aruba and around the world.
At only 44 years old, he had par-none expertise in the restaurant/bar industry gained from hard work and great accomplishments in Holland, Sweden, France and in Aruba. After F&B partnerships in Europe dissolved, he came to Aruba in 2004/5 to further his career with the exclusive Chez Mathilde Restaurant and later opening the Screaming Eagle together with Flying Fishbone Owner Daniel Kameier and Chef Erwin Husken.
The restaurant was an instant hit on the island filling the obvious void of “Island Chic” in 2007. Marcel, Daniel and Chef Erwin Husken, were also joined by Sven Schneider, Carsten Goetze, and Manager Jenn Phillips and so many more, who all added their ingredients to create a chic landmark restaurant for the island of Aruba.
Marcel was extremely charming and very knowledgeable in cuisine and wines from around the world. He shared his acquired knowledge with his partners, staff and guests; which further helped the Screaming Eagle become one of the most renowned restaurants on Aruba. Recognized as one of the best of the best in the entire Caribbean, the Screaming Eagle was recently featured on the Discovery Channel which was aired around world-wide. Marcel’s love for music was shared to all his friends and neighbors and especially Alethia, whether they liked it or not. He loved to spin old vinyl with new music to create his own version.
Those closest to Marcel knew that the most important loves were his children, he did everything he was capable of doing to make them proud. There wasn’t a day that he didn’t wake up, when he didn’t have great plans for himself and his sons, and thankful to Ulla for being such a great mother when he wasn’t able to be together with them.
Marcel van Berkum, born in Holland June 1, 1968 – October 15, 2012 where he died in Aruba, will be cremated here on the island and his ashes will be taken back to Sweden by Ulla.
(Apologies to anyone left out or incorrect information as a result the distraught author.)
Contributed by: Julia Renfro