Victory Cruiselines Destination Blog
Chef Guillermo Pernot talks about his influences and his upcoming trip to Cuba with Victory Cruise Lines
Next March, chef, and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot will make our Cuba 360° Cruise- the Two Perfect Weeks in Cuba voyage, a special one. Pernot will be onboard all 14 days in Cuba and experience with our guests our unique immersive Cuban experience.
Pernot, born in Argentina, has made Cuban food his passion. Pernot is celebrating the release of his new book: Cuba Cooks: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs. The dishes in his book are “adapted from the best private restaurants from Old Havana to Santiago de Cuba and Pernot’s own celebrated restaurant, Cuba Libre, marrying traditional foundations with modern influences.”
The book is divided into chapters for fresh seafood (“Mar”), meat (“Tierra”), vegetables (“Granja”), and delectable desserts (“Postres”). Before embarking on our Cuban adventure, make sure to get his book and learn about all the ingredients and techniques.
“The intention for this cruise is to share the culinary insights and adventures in Cuba that I’ve experienced over the years, and distilled into my latest cookbook, with this exclusive group of travelers,” says the two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot.
Chef Pernot answered some of our questions about his experience and what Victory guests can expect during this wonderful trip. Grab your Cuba Libre and get inspired to plan your next Cuban experience with us!
Learn more about Chef Pernot
Victory Cruise Lines: How did you start your career as a chef?
Chef Guillermo Pernot: I started cooking in a beautiful Bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania. I used to do dinner for up to twelve guests on Saturday night and everybody loved it.
VCL: As an Argentinian, why did you decide to focus on Cuban food?
GP: Before I decided to just focus on Cuban food, I had a restaurant (Pasión) that served food from Miami to Argentina (Nuevo Latino). While I was working there, I met Barry and Larry, the owners of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, and they asked me if I could help them open a Cuban restaurant.
VCL: Can you mention the influences and some history behind some of your dishes?
GP: This is a very complicated question that could take hours to answer. Let’s see, I use traditional ingredients with new techniques to develop dishes that tell the flavor of Cuba.
VCL: Why is it so important for you as a chef to constantly visit Cuba and bring people with you?
GP: To show the guests that travel with me that “Cuban food is not only rice and beans and picadillo.”
VCL: What can our guests expect during this trip?
GP: If they travel for the first time to Cuba? What I mentioned before about the food. If they were there before, they will discover a different facet of the Cuban culture.
VCL: What’s your favorite Cuban dish?
GP: Puerco “a La Pua” with all the side dishes.
VCL: Any advice for someone that hasn’t been to Cuba?
GP: Be patient and enjoy the moment.
VCL: Can you talk a bit about your books, the Paladares, and recipes that you feature in Cuba Cooks: Recipes and Secrets from Cuban Paladares and Their Chefs?
GP: It is an honest book with recipes from Cuban chefs and notes of some of the struggles that they go through every day to put a dish on the menu. It shows true Cuban recipes and the history of those recipes.
We can’t wait to be onboard with Chef Guillermo Pernot. You too can experience the vibrant culture of this Caribbean gem. Join us in Cuba! Visit our website www.victorycruiselines.com or give us a call to 1-888 -907-2636 for more details on your next Cuban experience.