Fred Ros is an artist living and working in Bonaire. We had the pleasure of admiring his work one morning when we went to Spice Beach Club for breakfast. The next day, we were lucky enough to meet the creative genius in the flesh, while devouring the best smoked chicken on the island.
Just 6 months ago Fred and his business associate Niels turned a beat-up, rusty LandRover into a food truck and named it Kip-Tukkie. The duo travels with a smoker, a table, two parasols and benches, vacuum packed ingredients and everything else they need to wow their customers. They tour the island, stopping at their usual spots and occasionally a new one, to sell their ware.
On Sunday, we met them at Kite Beach. Against the colourful backdrop of kite surfers riding the waves, we sat at the table under the cover of two parasols and were blown away by the succulent half-chicken, juicy salmon and tender chicken satay served by the duo. Fred marinates the chicken in a special salt-blend (also sold separately) and vacuum packs the goods for transportation. Each dish is priced just right (under $12,50) and served with a salad and toasted flat bread. The simple tossed salad of green leaves, apple bits, raisins, bell pepper, cucumber and cabbage is dressed with a homemade olive mayonnaise dressing. The dressing is light, leaving plenty of room for the fresh ingredients in the salad to pop. We learned from Niels that the tenderness of the chicken satay is due to the cut that they use. “The shoulder is much more fatty. You can really taste the difference,” he explained. And we definitely could- it didn’t resemble any of the usual cardboard type satay people unapologetically serve.
Make sure you are skilled in eating with minimal cutlery and standing up before you track Kip-Tukkie. Seating is limited, and although the dishes are served in handy-dandy containers with fork and napkin, you will need both hands to rip the flesh from the bones if you order the half-chicken. Portions are reasonable and satisfy even the hungriest of the kite surfers. As a side note, don’t question whether the chicken is cooked all the way through. “The chicken gets its pinkish colour from the smoker,” Fred said, assuring us that none of his dishes have the “salmonella” touch.
Eating the succulent smoked chicken requires some recon on your part. Track Kip-Tukkie’s whereabouts through their Facebook page here.
Make sure you check out Fred’s personal website as well to admire some of his work as an artist here.
Food: 9 – best smoked chicken on Bonaire
Ambiance: 7 – you can’t beat the friendly banter with Fred and Niels!
Service: it’s a food truck, but the owners are very service minded
Location: varies, check their Facebook page for the location du jour