activity type: experience / workshop-class
your guides: Boogalu host-guide & specialty host
location: Enrique's restaurant in Playa, Havana
duration: 3 hrs.
included: lunch and one drink / pickup & drop off
note: program changes may occur on occasion
booking: see options at bottom of page
Participate in a sumptuous meal with one of the pioneers of the new food movement in Cuba. Enrique is a master chef who will take you into his world focused on reviving Cuba's rich food traditions. Located at his down home restaurant in the suburbs of Havana, the experience consists of making an entire meal (entree, main course, dessert) that is enjoyed and eaten as lunch. Guests observe the cooking process, help with food and drink preparation, while Enrique explains the techniques and philosophy of his cooking style.
Enrique's specialty is creating food drawing from the rural traditions of Cuba "el cocina pobre" (poor people's cuisine) and adding some international touches. In rural Cuba, people use basic ingredients, and all parts of plants and animals in their cuisine. They cannot afford to throw away anything. Oxtail stew is an example. Another part of the story is sourcing ingredients that cannot be found in regular markets such as organic vegetables, certain meats and fish, and quality herbs and spices. His mission is to impart to guests an authentic vision of Cuba through food.
• An introduction including Enrique's story as a chef, the philosophy of "poor people's cuisine", and how he sources quality ingredients in a very challenging environment.
• Guests then participate in making "mojitos" a popular drink in Cuba. The drink originated in colonial times as a tonic, (made with the herb "yerba buena") to prevent sailors from getting scurvy. A prime example of "el cocina pobre".
• Next guests go to the kitchen to become familiar with the raw ingredients, help with food preparation, and see the techniques he uses to create his dishes.
• Finally guests are seated at the table where Enrique does the final preparation of the food and guests partake in a sumptuous three course meal.
Enrique was originally trained as an engineer in Cuba. Ten years ago he transitioned to being a chef. Self-taught, he grew up in a family of cooks and has researched Cuban traditions in depth along with studying gastronomy in Europe.