Archivo de Flavors
Herón Vega Granados (Havana, 1972). Actor. He began his career at the age of 6 in the movie Portrait of Teresa, directed by his father, Pastor Vega, and starring his mother, Daysi Granados. His career includes films such as Video … Continued
Liuyen “El Gallego” Álvarez Gallego (Havana, 1982). Earned his Chef’s certificate in 2012 from the Federation of Culinary Associations of Cuba. Has been involved in culinary matters for 14 years. His recipes have received various national awards, and his career … Continued
Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners in Cuba are beginning to take off in a different way. Modest but continuous economic growth has created a more cosmopolitan attitude among our people, and traditions are becoming more international. Now just having … Continued
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, … Continued
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 … Continued
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 … Continued
Do you think that a return to traditional Cuban cooking is needed at this time?
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.
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 [creativity] 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.
El Tocororo was a tremendous experience. Whose idea was it?