MIAMI, United States. – The Island’s regime inaugurated the fifth edition of the controversial culinary festival “Cuba Sabe 2024” on Thursday at the Iberostar Grand Packard Hotel in Havana, which is dedicated to the Spanish heritage in the Island’s cuisine.
The Spanish ambassador to the largest of the Antilles, Ángel Martín Peccis, was in charge of the inauguration. In his speech, he assured that Cuba occupies “a special place” in the hearts of Spaniards and highlighted the potential of “Cuba Sabe” to become the main gastronomic reference in the Caribbean.
Right on the opening day of the event, the exhibition “Flavor and Art VIII: Because Cuba Sí Sabe” presented 210 pieces that blend visual art with gastronomy, showcasing food as a reflection of national identity.
Culinary exchanges between Spain and Cuba were evident through presentations and culinary demonstrations, such as the one by Spanish chef Juanjo Escolano about Iberian ham and the preparation of the Cuba Libre cocktail by bartender Geosvani Jorge Rodríguez Chug. The event also included a two-chef cooking show, where chefs Honorato Espinar and Santiago Gutiérrez merged the cuisines of both countries in dishes such as honey lamb and lamb stew.
Additionally, the first Cuba Sabe contest was announced, focused on the traditional pork sandwich, which will conclude the event with the participation of chefs from across the country.
Ambassador Peccis emphasized the importance of integrating identity, culture, tourism, and gastronomy to position Cuba as a gourmet destination in the Caribbean, not only for its beaches but also for its culture and cuisine. “The idea is for people to say, ‘I’m going to Havana to eat because the food is excellent,'” Peccis expressed.
According to the official magazine Excelencias de Cuba, attendees at Cuba Sabe 2024 will have the opportunity to participate in conferences, masterclasses, tastings, as well as enjoy specialized excursions and gastronomic tours. Specialty workshops will also be held aimed at chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and other professionals linked to gastronomy and service.
The culinary workshop is sponsored by the Paradiso Cultural Tourism Agency, the Culinary Federation of Cuba, the Association of Sommeliers of Cuba, and the Association of Bartenders of Cuba. Although their participation has not been publicized this time, previous editions of Cuba Sabe have been coordinated by Lis Cuesta Peraza, the wife of Cuba’s president Miguel Díaz-Canel.
The event will not be limited to gastronomy alone, but will also include cultural activities such as dance, concerts, exhibitions, and book presentations.
Previous editions of Cuba Sabe have been widely criticized for taking place in a country experiencing one of the most acute food crises in its history.
However, it is not the only major culinary event supported and organized by the Island’s regime. In early October 2019, Cuesta Peraza participated in the Eighth Edition of the Earth Market, an exclusive culinary event held on the outskirts of Havana.