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
Combine the onion, garlic, garlic chives, and salt with the taro. Chop pork into small slices. Using a dessert spoon, place small portions of the taro mixture—never larger than the pork slices—into boiling oil. When they are browned, remove and place on a napkin or paper towel to drain the oil. Sandwich a pork slice between two fritters on a wooden skewer.
Silfredo Reyes Romero: A graduate, as cook, of the first Cubanacán on-the-job training course at the Hotel Meliá Varadero in 1991. Worked at the hotels Cuatro Palmas, Meliá Varadero, Paradiso Puntarenas and Arenas Doradas in Varadero and at the Hotel Habana Libre. In 2007, he was elected a federative member of the Culinary Association of the Republic of Cuba. He earned the title of international chef in 2011. In February 2013, he opened his own business, (Reyes Manso), a cafeteria and catering service.