Havana November 2018 – Cooking, Outfitting And Meditating – The Crazy Chefs

9 Dec

Yes, it was Chris meditating barefoot on the railway tracks again … 🙂

Lucky for him there are only a few trains a day passing on that line.

It was the last part of my trip and it continued more or less as usual so far, only that now it was more Michelin-Star-like meals – small correction here by Chris : He cooks Cuban with Belgian and Moroccan influence – and decidedly more Champagne and wine.

Chris and Joerg brought a truckload of cooking stuff, from olive oil to condiments and spices to 12 bottles of fine bubbly and both German and Belgian wine for their stay.

The crazy Chefs.

The kitchen staff in the Villa were happily laughing to see Chris whirling like a Dervish through the kitchen and preparing all meals with incredible style. It also gave them some ideas on European high-level cooking which I hope they do not adapt to …. I am not particularly fond of the Michelin diet 🙂

One memorable lunch was the one he prepared for two Cuban couples, friends of ours living outside Havana, typical Guajiros/farmers, who happened to arrive at the exact time we told them to come.

That took Chris by surprise as he thought they’d arrive like two hours later – after all : we have the watches, Cubans have all the time …

It was a very slow and long lunch with small plates arriving like every hour and a lot of talking, smoking and drinking in-between the courses.
It was a 4 course menu so we spent 4 hours and I could feel the nice Guajiro friends getting hungrier by the minute.
They must have been dreaming of pork, rice and beans for dinner that Sunday … 🙂

Talking about pork – Chris and Joerg left me alone for 2 days while touring the tobacco plantations and Viñales and I was happy lunching on pork fried rice and enjoying a good cigar, cafecito and a glass of Rum by the pool myself – my own style of meditation.

While I was doing that, Chris and Joerg spent a day at Hector Luis’ farm and guess who proudly prepared the pork dinner at Hector’s – yep, Chris proudly told me he had taken over the kitchen at the farm …
Just hope he didn’t spoil the cooking manners and traditions there and I will find myself lunching on a small plate with a tiny meatball at the farm next visit !

Chris is just as methodical on outfitting and clothing as he is on cooking, so a few of the 5 suitcases that came to Havana were to pass out a load of clothing.

He proudly outfitted a good friend in a splendid suit for his upcoming beach wedding next year. There goes the dress code … 🙂

He was also kind enough to outfit the daughter of a good friend with nice and sturdy eyewear as it is very difficult to find proper fitting glasses for kids in Cuba.

That was a moving gesture and we were also very happy to meet the new-born boy of the family. A happy, smiling little blond Buddha.

Other than that our days were the usual Havana routine – lazy morning, good cigars, meeting friends and having fun.

Specially when offered a few fake boxes during lunch at a seaside Paladar.

Now that we didn’t really need …. but it was a good laugh when the guy told us that the labels had to be applied on the “IKEA Cohiba” boxes before leaving the country ….

The last few days in Havana it got cold – 14C at night is cold by Cuban standards, so it was like the weather was preparing me for my return to the cold climate in Europe.

Looking back it was a great trip – certainly too long at almost four weeks but not too short on good stories and experiences shared with good friends.

Nino

2 Responses to “Havana November 2018 – Cooking, Outfitting And Meditating – The Crazy Chefs”

  1. joe akers 10/12/2018 at 04:00 #

    some fantastic pictures Nino. Always enjoy reading your posts and incredible photos.