Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

Father Sergio E. Cabrera

Sergio really is as young as I was told. He has a pleasant face and a receding hairline, both of which give him an intelligent appearance. Appearances are not deceiving. We sit down to have a chat in his living room. He was ordained as a priest in 2007. Before that he completed his nursing studies and then enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine, where he remained until his fourth year. His religious vocation led him to ask for a two-year leave, and he enrolled in Havana’s San Carlos y San Ambrosio Seminary. Three years later went by, he remember the leave, but it was not too late; he was where he wanted to be. “That day I said to myself: this is what God wanted for me.” Now he is a doctor of the soul. While he had never planned to be a priest, there were signs that led him to the priesthood. With a knowing look, he admits “My father was a staunch atheist. My first religious memory is of a Saint Barbara icon in the back of a closet, behind the clothes, where my grandmother would secretly take me to pray. My life has been marked by...

“I think we need to bring ourselves up-to-date”

What do you think about Cuban cuisine today? There is a lot of stagnation in Cuban cuisine. I think we need to bring ourselves up-to-date; we should have more exchange with other countries; our chefs should travel and work abroad, explore and bring new ideas. That would be a lot of help to Cuban gastronomy. It’s not the same to take a course here about the latest tendencies as it is to experience them firsthand. Otherwise, your continuing training is incomplete, and the industry becomes outmoded. Despite all of that, we are innovating every day, because we work with the real availability of the market, and we deliver a product with an attractive esthetic. The Achilles heel of Cuban cuisine is our supply. What you may do today you might not be able to do tomorrow, due to scarcity of a product; that is why we, the creators, are like painters—we are always imagining new things. Mini Cuban brochette Ingredients / for 6 servings Roast pork / 200 g Boiled taro root (malanga), mashed, for frying /460 g Onion, garlic, garlic chives, and salt to taste   Preparation Combine the onion, garlic, garlic chives, and salt with the taro. Chop pork into...

You have to be creative all the time here

What is special about working at a “paladar” restaurant? When you work in the private sector it is more difficult to have access to resources than it is in the state sector; moreover, you have the pressure of competition, which is something that is emerging in Cuba with the new economic changes. People who open restaurants are looking for good professionals who bring prestige to their establishment, and many of them are experienced in the industry, which is why the competition is so fierce, and that makes the quality of service go up. Now it is more respectable to be a chef at a paladar. At a private restaurant, chefs have to do everything; the customary specialties that you study are out the window here. You have to be good at many things and know how to manage your time well, and that enriches your profession. That is why I prefer to work in this sector; you have to be creative all the time here. Tropical-style pork loin Ingredients Boneless pork loin / 200 g Onion / 40 g Pineapple/ 50 g Ripe banana / 1 Dried coconut / 15 g Coconut liqueur / 30 ml Brown sugar / 15 g...

Yadisley García González, Cowgirl

Surrounded by the fragrance of sugar cane and fermented king grass, I can make out Yadisley’s unmistakable figure approaching the stalls. She comes from a cattle ranching family, is the daughter of a cowboy, and is an “Amazona,” or cowgirl. She earned her agrarian engineering degree a few years back and is a national barrel-racing champion. The smell of sweating animals, pasture, fodder and reins was the first perfume to envelop her and mark her destiny. At the age of 7, she rode horseback by herself for the first time and began her life as a cowgirl. Her striking eyes, green as grass, are the first thing you notice about her. Her firm voice knows how to ask for what she wants, and her exacting tone and warmth could break in anyone or thing. Here on Rancho Alegre, we all admire her. “This piece of land, with its chickens and pigs and the mockingbird’s song, is not something you can find anywhere else. This is my Beautiful Little Cuba; nobody would ever convince me to leave.” That’s what she told us one day after coming home from one of her many trips. She has participated in a number of cowgirl...

My kitchen is my laboratory

Does cuba have cuisine d’auteur? When I’m at home I cook what I like. When I’m in my other kitchen, my laboratory, I cook what I know the customer is going to like. So far, I’ve had a good eye for figuring out what each person who comes in will like. Even so, I don’t think that there is cuisine d’auteur in Cuba. A lot more details are needed to be able to have that. In the kitchen, everything is improvised; based on that, what we do is create and find solutions. Here, people who go to restaurants are essentially looking for content, the products used to make the dishes, not for the cooking to be different, because everything’s already been done. To do something new, you would have to have a very atypical proposal. Pescado Florida (This dish was part of the dinner served to singer Beyoncé during her visit to San Cristóbal restaurant.) Ingredients fish fillet  / 200 g butter / 10 g cups flour / 2 cup of water / 1 whole orange /2 olive oil / 10 g salt and white pepper to taste Preparation Season the fillets with salt and pepper and cover with flour. In...

Pedro Tejeda,哈瓦那雪茄推荐师

我和雪茄的第一次接触是在我上高中时,大概十七八岁。我在比纳特里奥省的La Soga 地区学习。学生们都学习种植雪茄。大多时候的周末我都住在农户家里。我记得他会放两张椅子在电视前,点上一支他自己卷的雪茄。雪茄让我的嘴巴很难受,农户很享受的看着很费事的我,还冲我做鬼脸。他真的非常可爱,但是很有魔力。品着一根哈瓦那雪茄,看着电视,和亲爱的人交谈并喝一口朗姆酒。 我是哈瓦那雪茄推荐师,在La Bodeguita del Medio餐厅的吧台工作。25年前,我看到了一个哈瓦那雪茄的广告,广告上一个先生非常优雅的向他的顾客展示着托盘里的雪茄。这幅画面吸引了我的注意。我想模仿他来卖在我们在酒店里的雪茄。就这样,我认识了一个记者,他向我展示用一个雪松板怎么点燃雪茄。这个时刻非常影响我,让我对雪茄的世界充满了热情。

Pedro Tejeda Habanosommelier

My first encounter with a cigar happened when I was in high school, when I was about 17 or 18. I was a boarding-school student in Pinar del Río, in the La Soga area, and I and the other students were working in the tobacco fields. On many weekends, I would stay at a farmer’s home. I remember that he would set two rocking chairs in front of the TV and light a cigar that he himself had rolled with leaves from his plantation. The cigar really stung my mouth, and the farmer thought it was funny watching me make faces as I struggled to smoke.


一位厨师告诉我要厨房要裸着进去。你也这样认为吗? 是的,从一开始,应该在厨房里慢慢的穿好衣服,也就是用知识来武装自己。厨房就是一个妒忌的女人。你需要时时宠爱她,如果不,东西都会被烤糊。需要给它许多的爱和热情,努力吧一道菜做到最好。在古巴当厨师,需要创造力。 羊排 配料 (2人份): 10条小羊排 3瓣蒜 半个切成手指宽的洋葱 盐和胡椒 2勺橄榄油 1个成熟的番茄 1枝新鲜的迷迭香 把羊排用盐,胡椒,洋葱,蒜和迷迭香腌渍10分钟。加热油锅,把羊排煎到颜色金黄。然后装盘,用生菜铺盘子,番茄切成四分之一。可以依照个人口味加入盐和胡椒和几滴香醋。

古巴人:Héctor Vinent,奥运会冠军及世界冠军。拳击教练员

我叫Héctor Vinent Charón,从2005年开始,我作为一名拳击教练员在哈瓦那老城区的Rafael Trejo体育馆工作。我训练13-14和15-16级别的运动员。我来自古巴圣地亚哥的Los Songos体育馆。从小我就在拳击馆了。. 在由于比赛造成视网膜脱离的手术过后,2000年我必须要退役了。我在餐厅工作过5年,我不想知道关于运动的一切。我感觉非常失败。Ángel Moya,我现在的训练伙伴,是他让我重新回到了体育馆,让我把最好的都教给这些年轻人。从那时起,我的学生在所有参加的比赛中都进入前三名。

The kitchen is like a jealous woman

A chef once told me that you have to go into a kitchen naked.  Do you share that opinion? Yes; from the very start, when you first go in, you have to dress yourself inside the kitchen. You have to dress yourself with knowledge. The kitchen is like a jealous woman. You have to pay her constant attention. You have to pamper her, because if not, she’ll burn your things. You have to give her a lot of love, a lot of affection, and try to give it your all for every meal. You have to be quite creative to do cooking in Cuba.

Gourmet Festival in Havana

I could write this paragraph as if it were a recipe. There is still in my taste the flavor of many delicacies which were the result of a Cuban-Mexican marriage. The Gourmet Festival: Tastes of Cuba and Mexico, a research from the literature, tourism and audiovisual perspective, emerged as a private initiative and it found the necessary support in the state sector.

古巴人Morayma Cabrera Delgado

从18年前起,我就是餐厅Bon Apetite的主人。我是音乐人。曾在国家艺术学校学习弹钢琴。在ISA,还学习唱歌,也给了我去巴西文化交流的机会。那是90年代,在古巴,一个新的法律可以允许私人生意。当我表演回来,这让我很感兴趣,我和家人决定,开一家小餐厅。所有我表演赚的钱,我都投了进去。那时候,还只是一个小地方,不像现在的一样。 从音乐转到烹饪是一个经济决定。音乐是我的生活,我的行为,我的本质,但是不是所有的表演都会有收益。我需要帮助我的母亲,养育我的孩子。所以,我看到了在所有人合作和帮助的条件下创造家庭经济的可能。那时,我看到了长远的经济效益。我要感谢我的母亲。她是西班牙人,很会做菜。她让我在烹饪的世界时学会了很多,因为我的生活曾是钢琴。 六年还是八年前,我去了西班牙。我的妈妈死了但是在那里还有亲戚。我想去旅行,也有想要去的期望。有了去的可能性,我决定走下去,我的母亲没有走的路,我感觉她应该也会走。那段时光是我生命中非常好的时光。认识了遥远的家人,交了新的朋友,在那里工作。我试图想要发展一下,但是我的儿子和生意都在古巴。这里才是我的根, 

Die langweilige Küche existiert für den langweiligen Koch .

Williams Ramón Fernández Izquierdo (August, 1972). Absolvent der FORMATUR-Kochschule Sergio Perez 1998. Er begann in Le Select, wo er auch Lehrer war. Er war Mitbegründer des Küchenkollektivs des Hotels Meliá Habana. Er arbeitete im Restaurant La Torre. Im Jahr 1999 arbeitete er als Koch im Café  La Taberna der Gesellschaft Habaguanex und später im El Templete. Er arbeitete auf dem Mittelmeerkreuzschiff Arkai. Seit sechs Jahren ist er Küchenchef des Restaurants La Barca und El Templete in La Habana Vieja.

Boring cooking is for boring cooks

Does working in the state sector create obstacles to creativity? Could it lead to boring cooking? I don’t think so. I don’t agree with that. People are uncreative in some places in our country because they have no desire to work, but yes, it is possible. In  fact, working in the state sector — and I don’t think we are the best — people refer to El Templete/La Barca; they are restaurants with excellent references, and they are part of the state sector. Boring cooking is for boring cooks.

Morayma Cabrera Delgado Owner of the restaurant Bom Apetíte

For the last 18 years I have been the owner of the restaurant Bon Apetite. I am a musician. I studied piano at the National Art Instructors’ School. While I was studying piano at the National School of the Arts, I had the opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange in Brazil. It was the 1990s, and a new law in Cuba had been passed that allowed private businesses to open. It was something that very much interested me, and when I came home from my tour, I and my family decided to open a small restaurant. Everything I had earned on my tour went into that investment.

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