best chef, mid-atlantic region
best single subject cookbook
Chef Guillermo Pernot, Chef-Partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar and two-time James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region; and Best Single Subject Cookbook.
Nationally renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot joined Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar as the top toque in the Fall of 2006. As Chef-Partner, Pernot is responsible for maintaining the quality, taste and authenticity of Cuba Libre’s cuisine at all locations as the company expands its concept across America and beyond. Pernot’s dishes are full of color, aroma and style.
In 2010 Pernot embarked on a mission to discover how Cuban cuisine had evolved. During numerous visits to Cuba, Pernot forged relationships with the premier local chefs in Havana. He spent countless days cooking and dining with them in their restaurants, homes and farms. In January 2012, Chef Pernot and Cuba Libre launched a culinary exchange series named Pop-Up Paladares, in which the top chefs of Havana are invited to cook in Cuba Libre’s kitchens for special guest chef dinners. In return, Chef Pernot invites Cuba Libre’s guests to join him on a series of custom cultural and culinary tours of the island nation’s capital, featuring dinners at these chefs’ restaurants. The inaugural trips, open to the public, began in April 2012 and continue on a bi-annual basis.
Pernot is credited for introducing “Nuevo Latino” cuisine to the northeast. While owner of ¡Pasión! Pernot earned an impressive list of accolades including awards from Gourmet, Philadelphia Magazine and Fodor’s. Pernot was named Esquire’s “Chef of the Year.” Additionally, he received two of the most prestigious awards given in the food industry. The James Beard Award for “Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region” and “Best Single Subject Cookbook” for ¡Ceviche!: Seafood, Salads and Cocktails with a Latino Twist.
Pernot’s background also includes the launch of Vega Grill, during which Food & Wine named him one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs,” and Restaurant Hospitality named him one of the “Ten Rising Stars.” He also spent time in Miami, where he led the kitchen at Gloria Estefan’s Latin restaurant, Allioli, in South Beach.
Pernot is a member of the American Chef Corps, a State Department partnership with the James Beard Foundation - one of the foremost culinary organizations in the United States. In a trip to Honduras in 2015, Chef Pernot taught chefs and farmers best practices for improving agricultural production as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initative.
Pernot’s culinary success can be attributed to his passionate and flavorful cuisine – a culinary dedication to his roots. Born in Argentina, Pernot and his wife, who is Cuban and who is related to the third President of Cuba, live in suburban Philadelphia with their two children.
“I love leading Cuba Libre’s expansion and enhancing the restaurant’s menus in innovative ways, as Cuban cuisine continues to develop,” Pernot says. “I am able to use my experience and culinary skills to mentor young chefs, manage multiple outlets and foster the future growth of the Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar concept.”