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.
(This dish was part of the dinner served to singer Beyoncé during her visit to San Cristóbal restaurant.)
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
Season the fillets with salt and pepper and cover with flour. In a frying pan with the olive oil and butter, add fish and brown on both sides. Add the orange’s zest and segments, previously cut into “supremes,” allow to reduce, and serve with vegetable garnish.
Carlos Cristóbal Márquez Valdés (Havana, 1963)
A graduate of the Hotel Sevilla’s Rubén Martínez Villena Polytechnic Institute. Was a chef at the hotels Riviera, Capri and Nacional. Has prepared meals for Cuban festivals in countries such as Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Italy, Spain and the United States. Founding teacher at the Hotel Comodoro’s School of Gastronomy, 1989. In December 2010, he opened his own restaurant, San Cristóbal, in the Centro Habana neighborhood.