Venezuela Facts and Figures Official Name: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Country Population: 23,865,000 Capital City: Caracas (1.7 mil) metro (3.5 mil) Largest Cities: Caracas, Maracaibo, Barquisimeto, Valencia, Ciudad Guayana Language: Spanish (official) Official Currency: Bolivar
( El gran Sabor accepts U.S. currency and most major credit cards!)
Derdlim (Lopez) Masten(head chef and co-owner) came to the United States from Venezuela in November of 2000. She came to Elkins to visit and stay with her cousin Thais. During her stay in Randolph County she grew very fond of the town of Elkins. A year after arriving here she met her husband to be, Rob Masten, playing in a local salsa band. Derdlim grew up dancing to the music of salsa and merengue and noticed that Rob needed a little help with his moves. Once she showed him how to dance it was all over and the two were married on May 25th, 2002.
Derdlim has over ten years of experience cooking and catering in Venezuela. She studied cooking at I.N.C.E. in Merida, Venezuela. She noticed that finding authentic Latin cuisine is very difficult in the United States, much less West Virginia and decided to bring her native cuisine to Elkins.
On August 8th, 2008 twelve people took the oath of allegiance at the federal courthouse in Elkins to become naturalized U.S. Citizens. Congratulations goes to Derdlim for obtaining U.S. Citizenship: One of the most coveted gifts that the U.S. government can bestow, and the most important immigration benefit that USCIS can grant.
Rob Masten (co-owner) a music teacher in Tucker County was offered the opportunity to study music, dance, and Spanish in Venezuela for one month. Not only were the music and dance great, but the food was fantastic too! And so an idea was born. Derdlim and Rob wanted to bring back the best of Latin American culture, food, and dance to Randolph County. After returning to the United States, they began to combine their ideas to open a restaurant serving authentic Latin food.