PENN QUARTER: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar Hosts an Exciting Culinary Trip to Cuba This March

From Wednesday, March 15th through Monday, March 20th, Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, located steps from CityCenterDC at 801 9th Street, NW, 20001, will bring an intimate group of 20 travelers to Havana, Cuba.  He will be leading them on an adventure to experience cultural and culinary treasures on the island.  Working with Cultural Contrast leading provider of authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens, Chef Pernot will help foster firsthand connections between Americans and Cubans as the group navigates bustling city life, visits historic landmarks and discovers the new tastes of Cuba.

The group will depart from Miami, Florida and head to Cuba for a six-day, five-night journey through Havana.  The culinary tour is open to the public and costs $4,950 per person for double occupancy accommodations and $5,500 for single occupancy.  The cost includes round-trip airfare via American Airlines from Miami, Florida; five-star accommodations in Havana; tips given to service staff while in Cuba; all meals; each day’s guided activities; U.S. Treasury Department License; Cuban Visa; and Letter of Authorization from Cultural Contrast; medical insurance while in Cuba; an English-speaking Cuban tour guide; all entrance fees for scheduled activities; all Cuban ground transportation, transfers and taxi fares to restaurants, paladares and other scheduled destinations.  The cost excludes the expense of traveling to Miami before departure and Miami lodging, trip cancellation coverage, travel insurance, baggage fees and alcoholic beverages.  For more information about joining the trip to Cuba please email: or visit the Cultural Contrast website
 “It is always such a pleasure to be able to introduce others to this beautiful country with such a remarkable history, but to be able to do it in a time when the United States and Cuba are continuing to forge a positive, diplomatic relationship is truly an incredible opportunity,” says Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot. “The culture, heritage and of course, the flavors of Cuba are so unique and unforgettable. It is a destination that everyone should experience.”
 Four-star hotel accommodations will be provided by Hotel Nacional de Cuba – Executive Floors.  The program, which highlights meaningful interactions with the people of Cuba, will include activities such as an interactive presentation with Miguel Coyula, former advisor to the City Planner of Havana; a trip to the a Cigar Factory for a little Cuban Tobacco 101 where guests will learn which leaves are selected and why and learn how cigars are rolled, Cuban-style; a walking tour of historic Old Havana with stops at the famous Plaza de Armas, Capitanes Generales, Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, and Plaza San Francisco; a trip to the Artechef, The Havana Culinary School, to learn about Cuba’s culinary education system from some of the most experienced Cuban chefs; a visit to a tobacco plantation in Viñales to learn the art of rolling a cigar; a stop at the Havana Farmers Market, one of the largest open-air farmer’s markets in Havana; a visit to the small fishing village of Jaimanitas on the western outskirts of Havana, home of the Gaudi-inspired mosaic tile neighborhood project of world-renowned artist 'Jose Fuster'; Morro Castle, the historic Spanish fortress built in 1589; a visit to the Havana Club Rum Museum and H. Upman Cigar Factory; a trip to “Finca Vigia,” Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home where he lived from 1939-1960 and penned “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea”; a visit to Plaza de Armas antique market; excursions to the neighborhoods of Miramar and the 5th Avenue areas that represented Havana’s wealthiest families before the revolution, and a visit to a sustainable organic farm for a tour, where the owners will explain how they harvest and filter their own rainwater for irrigation, use companion planting techniques and terraced raised beds as well as a farm-to-table organic lunch.

In addition to dining at the hotel, guests will travel to numerous local paladares, Cuba’s popular restaurants typically set inside a chef’s own home as well as other restaurants.  Renowned paladares on the itinerary include La Guarida; Atelier, newly top rated paladar in Havana; Al Carbon by renowned chef Ivan Chef Justo; San Cristobal in the Centro Havana neighborhood; the restaurant of Ivan Chef Justo housed in a colonial home in Havana Vieja; El Divino for an amazing farm-to-table meal; Cocina de Lilliam in the exclusive Playa neighborhood, and an amazing farewell dinner at the Starbien Paladar. This elegant private restaurant is owned by a personal friend of Chef Guillermo and features some of the most delicious dishes in Havana.

Award-winning Chef Guillermo Pernot traveled to Cuba three times in 2011, once in 2012, and will lead yet another trip in March 2017.  Each voyage brings new inspiration to Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar’s exciting menu, reflecting the current culinary movement that is emerging in Cuba.  Chef Pernot is the first American chef in over 40 years to cook in the embargoed country.  He has earned numerous awards here in the United States and is one of the leading chefs in today’s culinary scene representing Latin American food.  He is a two-time James Beard Award Winner, once for “Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region” and again for his book ¡Ceviche! Seafood, Salads and Cocktails with a Latino Twist which was named “Best Single Subject Cookbook.”  His former restaurant ¡Pasión! received numerous awards from magazines such as Philadelphia Magazine, Gourmet,  and Fodor’s.  Pernot was named Esquire’s “Chef of the Year”, and was also name one of Food & Wine’s “America’s Ten Best New Chefs as well as Restaurant Hospitality’s “Ten Rising Stars.”
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is located at 801 9th Street (corner of H Street), NW 
For more information please call (202) 408-1600 or visit