A lifetime devoted to cooking is the legacy that is left by Mario Hernández del Sol, recognised in his native Cienfuegos and in the culinary trade as Chef Don Mario, for his magnificence when it will come to operating in such an beautiful occupation.
Member and honorary president of the International Cuban Cooks Affiliation of the Planet (ICCAW), an group based in New Jersey, the United States, the get the job done of this Worldwide Chef transcends the borders of his beloved Cienfuegos, from wherever he has never distanced himself “because I was born in this province and I reside listed here, and while some of my experiments were being in Havana, I in no way assumed I would depart my metropolis and my relatives behind,” he confesses in an interview with OnCuba.
He has also taken his vocation to Canada, probably not with the exact same rigor with which he functions on the island, considering that his visits there have been “more for loved ones reasons,” he clarifies, but he does know the culinary art of the northern state and even acknowledges that between Cuban and Canadian cuisine there are not several points of contact to set up a culinary combine amongst the two: “their preparation and seasoning is distinctive from ours, the only related issue in their ingesting habits is the flavor for fried and breaded dishes.”
On the other hand, “in an surroundings other than ours,” he clarifies, “in order to worth Cuban cuisine and realize achievement, 3 principles must be met: to adapt it to the international consumer’s palate get ready contemporary, purely natural and much less seasoned recipes and cut down the measurement of the parts of the key dish and its aspect dishes,” the latter characteristic that stands out in the preparation of Cuban dishes.
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“Cooking is an art since it will take a vocation,” states Don Mario, “it is completed out of adore and to do it nicely, you place your coronary heart into it. A properly-manufactured dish, well-plated and with an desirable combination of colours, smells and flavors, is like a portray built by an artist.”
It is exactly this maxim that has distinguished the work of this Chef with numerous a long time of knowledge from his indigenous Cienfuegan, with a wealthy culinary custom: “Cienfuegos delicacies is distinguished from the relaxation of the region by the fish and seafood dishes designed here, in addition to the affect of French cuisine in its gildings.”
In this sense, he affirms that it is vital “to rescue the culinary traditions of the diverse regions of the region, for the reason that the normal delicacies of the island is diversified and prosperous in shades, aromas and flavors and is portion of the gastronomic society of the place.”
Consequently, he agrees with the recognition of Cuban delicacies as the Nation’s Heritage, “but to be a World Heritage it would have to be at the very same stage as French, Italian or Asian cuisines, that would be a wonderful achievement, but it would have to spread by the world and make its dishes well-liked on all continents and cultures,” a undertaking that requires time and extreme operate by professionals in culinary artwork, within and outside the house the archipelago’s borders.
“It is genuine that our youngest cooks like to get ready foreign dishes and in the menus of their dining places they are made available under the identify of global delicacies, which many moments does not are living up to its originality and top quality.”
And he adds: “All the international locations of the environment perform their nationwide cuisine 1st and it has been proven that it is the best attraction for international site visitors,” a truth that has not nonetheless been entirely assimilated and weighs down the wish to make a Cuban cuisine of high intercontinental recognition.
For Mario, a faithful defender of the country’s autochthonous and regional cuisine, this factor is essential in get to highlight Cuban cuisine in the location, not an easy job with references on the continent these types of as Mexico, Peru and Brazil, just to point out three international locations with considerable culinary tradition identified internationally, with their respective gastronomic capitals.
However, this retiree (not retired) chef carries on to offer you his art not only to shoppers, good friends and household, but to all who are new to this interesting world of culinary artwork, for all who begin to analyze the techniques of Cuban and international cuisine.
“In a evening meal Chef Don Mario prepares, tropical fruits cannot be absent seasonal veggies, rice dishes and Cuban aspect dishes nor individuals common dishes greatest regarded on the island, among the which I incorporate Cienfuegos dishes with common fish and seafood recipes and other people designed by me, alongside with the ideal-regarded Cuban desserts.”