Havana surprises, entices, and beguiles at every corner, with a culinary scene to match, and a cuisine that once again is being influenced by the world while reinforcing its Spanish and Creole traditions. Thriving bars and contemporary eateries now sit side- by- side with traditional paladares and exceptional street vendors selling Caribbean staples. But how is a visitor to know where to find the best authentic dishes?
Chef Fernando Saralegui is your guide. Born in Cuba, he returned to the island in 2013 and has been a frequent visitor ever since in his mission to celebrate his country’s food, people, and culture. Best Eats Havana combines restaurant reviews, essays on Cuban food, and snapshots of the culinary scene in this time of great change for the country, along with a handful of recipes from the classics (lechon asado, ropa vieja) to the cutting edge of contemporary cuisine.
With a record- breaking five million tourists visiting Cuba in 2017 and few food- specific guides out there, this will be an indispensable companion for both first- time visitors and seasoned travelers alike.
Long story short...ish. I was born in Havana, Cuba. I’ve been in the the restaurant game for a while. I received my BA in Theatre Set Design from UC Berkeley where I also worked at Chez Panisse restaurant, my true alma mater. Since then, I've opened restaurants from Los Angeles to New York to Austin. My gastronomic endevours extend outside of the kitchen as well.
Living in Austin, TX, I became the Executive Director of the Austin Food Festival's antecedent, The Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival. I wrote a cookbook, "Our Latin Table," which garnered an invitation to cook Cuban Thanksgiving at the James Beard House. Restaurant consulting, several culinary TV pilots and school children's gardens later fill in the rest of my time.
I recently completed my second book, "Best Eats Havana," published by W. W. Norton&Co., about Cuba's entrepreneurial restaurant, bar, and night life scene.
For media inquiries or general questions, email me or fill out the contact form below