Havana House Ltd.

March 02, 2005 14:59 ET

Food, glorious food!

Canadian Cuisine Sold Out! Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, Lifestyle Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor HAVANA, CUBA--(CCNMatthews - March 2, 2005) - There was a rare celebration of Canadian culture and cuisine in Havana, Cuba during the VII Festival del Habano last week, titled A Cool Night in Hot Havana. Aficionados of Cuba's finest became aficionados of Canada's best. Noted chef Jamie Kennedy and his crew cooked up a storm to please the most sophisticated palates.

The evening started with Canadian oysters, Canadian caviars on blinis and gazpacho turned Canadian with East Coast clams and West Coast lobsters blended with Canadian created Bloody Caesar cocktail to qualify for being Canadian. Grilled Arctic Caribou Chop and Hot Smoked British Columbia Salmon was the dinner's Surf and Turf, followed by a very unusual cheese sandwich of St. Benedictine Croute from Quebec served between thin slices of pear on a Black Walnut bread and purees. Warm chocolate cake with Ontario fruits preserved in Newfie Screech concluded the feast.

Of course, everything was complemented with a great selection of Canadian wines, including the now internationally famous icewine.

The sold out evening was attended by Cuba's President of the National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon, Canada's Ambassador Alexandra Bugailiskis, former Canadian justice minister Martin Cauchon, Ontario's Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, former Cuban Ambassador to Canada Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Montreal film producer Claude Leger, pollster Michael Marzolini, many other Cuban officials, well known celebrities and Canadian business executives, as well as a host of over 500 aficionados from around the world. Canada's delegation was, of course, suitably large, led by Jose Lugo, President of Havana House Ltd. Canada's exclusive distributor of premium Cuban cigars.

Short of the salt and pepper shakers on the tables everything was shipped from Canada and the typical red tape bureaucracy made getting the ingredients to Havana not an easy task. Only hours before the dinner some key elements were still sitting on the tarmac at Jose Martin International Airport in Havana waiting for approval.

Even the entertainment was imported. Order of Canada recipient Jane Bunnett with her Spirits of Havana and the Pierre Schryer Band led a large group of artists who performed while the guests sampled Canada's best.

Perfect weather with a night of full moon, the prestigious venue of Club Habana on the beach, Canadian scenes and the maple leaf projected on the face of the building, colourfully lit palm trees behind the stage, and giant tv screens showing short videos ahead of each course of the dinner with Mr. Kennedy giving a background to every dish served, made the evening the true and unique highlight of the festival's program for all the guests happily celebrating with cigars in hand.

Editors Note: Picture(s) to accompany this release are available on the CP Picture Service from The Canadian Press.
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IN: ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD, INTERNATIONAL, TRAVEL

Contact Information

  • Gabor Apor, Gabor Apor & Company Limited
    Primary Phone: 416-923-9228
    E-mail: gabor@gaborapor.com