Past Custom Group: Cuba Libre Restaurant

A Taste of Cuba

InsightCuba is consistently at the forefront of the most exciting and engaging experiences Cuba has to offer. Our people-to-people custom trips have focused on everything from education, medicine, art, music to food. 

Guillermo Pernot, the chef and owner of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar in Philadelphia, Washington and two other cities, worked with insightCuba to craft a five-day culinary trip during April 2012. Together with his wife, they led a group of individuals whom they had met during their travels to taste the new flavors of the island country.

This was not Cuba Libre’s first trip with insightCuba. In 2003, right before new travel restrictions were enforced in 2003 putting a halt to legal travel from the U.S, the restaurant traveled with insightCuba on a wonderful exchange with local people. Almost a decade later, restaurant guests were able to return to Cuba to learn more about the past, present and future of Cuban cuisine in 5 days.

Through discussions and dinners with local chefs, families starting their own private restaurants called paladares, and visits to the Cuban Culinary Association and an organic urban farm, the guests of Cuba Libre were able to get up and close to the culinary world in Cuba.

Chef Pernot’s wife, Lucia, the great-great-granddaughter of former Cuban President Mario Garcia Menocal, expressed that it was hard to put the experiences they had in Cuba into words. “With each meal and each location we were blown away. I am just so sorry that the world will not know about this wonderful journey that these people took, but all the people that were there will have it stamped on their heart and souls as an incredible experience.  The gratitude that the Cuban chefs felt towards us for wanting to share their lives and cuisine, showed in every morsel of food they put in front of us.”

At the end of the trip she thanked the Cuba Libre establishment by stating; “the depth of my gratitude is endless for the opportunity that you gave me, Guillermo, the 14 Americans on the tour and ultimately the Chefs in Cuba, the people that we all came into contact with, not the least of which are the tour operators, the hotel staff, the many Paladar employees and the people of Cuba.”

Cuba Libre is planning another custom group trip with insightCuba in November 2012.