Foodservice > Chef's Table
James Beard Award-winning Chef Guillermo Pernot of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Philadelphia and Atlantic City features a menu of exotic vegetables and fruits prepared in both traditional and updated Cuban dishes—full of color, aroma and style. Pernot began his culinary career as chef for Sweetwater Farm Bed & Breakfast in Chester County, Pennsylvania. From there he moved to Gloria Estefan's Allioli in Miami and back to Philadelphia again to make mouths water at Treetops Restaurant, Rittenhouse Hotel, Vega Grill—and ¡Pasion!, where he perfected his authentic Cuban cuisine—winning numerous awards along the way from Fodor's, Food and Wine, Gourmet, Esquire and Philadelphia Magazines.
Argentine-born Pernot, who gets his culinary inspiration from his Cuban wife, notes that Cuban cuisine has a historical Asian influence, left over from Chinese workers who poured into Cuba in the nineteenth century to work in the sugar fields. "Cuban cuisine is a fusion of several influences including Chinese, African, Caribbean and Spanish," explains Chef Pernot. As a result, it's a natural for Chef Pernot to use naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce to complement and enhance the flavors of his authentically Cuban dishes, like Vaca Frita, Sugarcane-Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Camarones con Caña.
When it comes to umami, the savory fifth taste, Chef Pernot knows that Kikkoman Soy Sauce can really kick it up a notch — but how does the concept of umami work in his Nuevo Latino cuisine? "Umami allows me to achieve several layers of flavor within the palette, with each bite," he says. "Some of the ingredients that I use often with Kikkoman Soy Sauce to boost umami include shiitake mushrooms, mangos, chiles and citrus juices."