14ymedio, Havana, 31 May 2018 — Cuba was widely represented among the 205 countries that competed in this year’s Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, considered by specialists as the Oscars of international cuisine. Four of the Island’s projects received Best in the World awards that were unveiled this May 28 in Yantai, China.
In the contest, founded in 1995, awards are given to the best books on cuisine and wines, whether printed or digital, as well as to websites and television spaces that promote gastronomic practices. Ten Cuban projects were nominated to compete in this year’s awards.
The Cubapaladar site, managed from the island by a small team of lovers of the culinary tradition recevied a “Best in the World” award and received thrid place in the category “Private Culinary Website.”
In the “National Tourism Website of the Caribbean” category, the Cubatravel-gastronomía site won the first prize, while Chef Yeikel Santos’s program, In Yeikel’s Kitchen, won in the section “Celebrities of Television outside of Europe.”
Santos has invited to his online site, where he cooks, talks and gives culinary advice, guests such as the singer Jacob Forever and the popular duo Gente de Zona.
The book Su majestad el helado (His Majesty Ice Cream), by Cuban Jorge Méndez, placed second place in the category dedicated to that dessert in which Spain took the first place with the volume 30 helados imprescindibles (30 Essential Ice Creams), while third was awarded to the United States offering, Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.
In a statement signed by Rodrigo Huaimachi, director of the Cubapaladar website, Rodrigo Huaimachi, the founder of the site expresses his pride in being part of this triumph of the Island in the international culinary universe. “We believe that when Cuba wins, we all win,” he said.
The director recalls that “a few years ago Cubapaladar was barely the idea of a small group, mainly of young people, who dreamed and ventured to develop a unique, transparent evaluation methodology, without any commercial or financial commitment; and to write reviews about different gastronomic options in Cuba.”
The digital platform began in February 2015 and its pages include representatives of the food academy in Cuba, writers, critics and journalists, chefs and food workers, as well as designers and the users themselves.
After the Government boosted the growth of the private sector in 2010, a wide variety of restaurants and coffee shops emerged from the hands of local entrepreneurs. Along with them, reference sites such as the popular application Alamesa, pioneer in creating a directory of the existing paladares in each of the provinces of the country, came to light.
Cubapaladar also has a national gastronomic inventory that registers about 1,800 establishments. For three years it has disseminated more than a hundred newsletters and regularly disseminates the data of the “Top 100 places in the Ranking of Restaurants” organized according to the scores left by Internet users who visit the site.
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