best chef, mid-atlantic region
best single subject cookbook
National 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. His dinner, lunch and brunch menus envision what Cuba’s cuisine would be like today, if it had continued to flourish beyond the golden era of the 1950s. Pernot’s dishes are full of color, aroma and style.
In 2010 Pernot embarked on a mission to discover what Cuba cuisine was today. During multiple visits to Cuba, Pernot forged relationships with the premier local chefs in Havana. He spent 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 Paladar, 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 invited Cuba Libre’s guests to join him on a series of custom cultural and culinary tours of the island nation’s capital. The inaugural trip embarked April 2012.
Pernot is credited for introducing Nuevo Latino cuisine to Philadelphia. While owner of ¡Pasion! 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’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 the idea of leading Cuba Libre’s expansion,” 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 concept.”