Chez Panisse Alum Authors New Food Book

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


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.