...a delegation of chefs from Alice Waters’ celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., is in Havana on a mission to encourage change in the Cuban diet by exposing islanders to healthier dishes with more fruits and vegetables, preferably grown organically and sustainably by local food cooperatives.
In the past week, members of the “Planting Seeds” delegation have held give-and-take seminars in Havana with chefs and culinary students about slow food. They also put on two massive dinners, including a five-course, five-star meal at the privately run Le Chansonnier, which drew culinary, artistic and influential leaders like President Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela.We'd like to get them on a slow boat out of Cuba, along with some ordinary people, to explain just what it is about food in Cuba that needs fixing. It ain't that;
Many Cubans who are able to cobble together hard currency opt for processed foods like canned vegetables, dried mashed potatoes or jarred spaghetti sauce. And a common household cost-cutting practice is to reuse cooking grease until each meal is infused with the same taste and odor.
It all adds up to cement Cuba’s reputation as a gourmet’s nightmare.The real reputation being cemented here is Berkeley's.