Chez Panisse Alum Authors New Food Book

UC Berkeley grad turned restaurateur Fernando Saralegui reveals Havana's best restaurants and recipes.


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Fernando Saralegui

Image courtesy of Fernando Saralegui

UC Berkeley graduate and former Chez Panisse worker turned serial restaurateur Fernando Saralegui is now also the author of a new book about his hometown: Best Eats Havana: 60+ Restaurants, Bars, and Cafés to Try in Cuba's Capital.

Beginning with a 500-year timeline tracing the city's history, the book then delves into both travel tips and culinary revelations: For instance, Havana-born Saralegui details the emerging array of paladares — privately owned restaurants — that have opened throughout Havana now that the Cuban government has somewhat relaxed its formerly rigid private-ownership restrictions. 

As reported at the Austin Chronicle, the book's final chapter contains recipes for classic Cuban dishes — such as lechon asada and ropa vieja — and drinks. 

Having worked at Alice Waters' famous North Berkeley restaurant in order to pay his tuition at the university — where he received a BA in theater-set design — Saralegui is the founder of Papi's Kitchen restaurant and is also the former director of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival: Both are located in Austin, TX.