© 2015 JZam / RM
In Cuba, Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana is on the vanguard of new eating establishments that have sprung up in the capital in the last five years. The restaurant has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015.
More Visitors Every Year
Since the thawing of relations with the United States and liberalization of the economy in 2011, tourism in Cuba has grown and has a bright future. Beautiful beaches, tropical weather, warm and friendly people and colonial architecture are just some of the features that draw visitors to Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean and home to more than 11 million people. At a conference in Panama in 2015, officials announced that Cuba would soon be receiving more than 3 million visitors a year.
The eastern region of Holguín, with wide sandy beaches and rugged mountains, was described by Christopher Columbus as “the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen.” Visitors to the area can take advantage of world class diving and enjoy some of the most pristine tropical forests, beaches and lagoons in the world.
Any story about the charms of visiting Cuba would be lacking if it didn’t mention the Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament, which celebrated its its 65th anniversary in 2015. It is one of the three oldest in the world, according to the president of Marlin SA in Havana, Carlos García. In the last ten years, fishermen from more than 30 countries around the world have participated in one of the best billfishing areas of the world.
The historic center of the capital city of Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1982, and it is easy to see why. With buildings dating back to the early 16th century, Havana is one of the best preserved colonial cities in the Americas, and the largest in the Caribbean.
Modern Havana, in addition to being the commercial and political center of gravity of Cuba, boasts world class culture in the form of restaurants, museums, theatres, art galleries, and concert halls. In fact, the National Ballet of Cuba, House of the Américas, Foundation of New Latin American Film and the National Folkloric Dance Group have all won international awards and recognition. Visitors interested in history would do well to see the Morro-Cabaña Military Park with its 17th century Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro and the 18th century fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña. If you happen to be around in the evening you can enjoy the firing of the historic cannons at 9 p.m. © 2015 JZam / RM
One of the Best Restaurants in Town
The kitchen at Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana is run by Chef Luigi Firoi who hails from Sardinia and has developed a menu using 100% natural products. The restaurant takes advantage of fresh and local foodstuffs produced in collaboration with two local farms. There, they raise all of the animals which provide the milk and meat used to craft five kinds of cheeses and six varieties of sausage and ham (all prepared, cured and aged on premises) and grow all of the vegetables used in the dishes served at the restaurant. All of the fish is local, hauled in on a boat owned by the restaurant. Wines come mostly from Spain, Italy, France and Chile.
The restaurant was opened in December, 2012 with the goal of catering to a clientele who appreciates Mediterranean cuisine. Since liberalization of the private sector economy in Cuba in 2011, the number of restaurants in Havana has risen dramatically, and the Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana has consistently been ranked as among the best in the country. In fact, 94% of diners on TripAdvisor rated the restaurant “excellent” or “very good.” As a point of reference, Alinea in Chicago, which costs about $400 per person for dinner and is the #1 rated restaurant on TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice list for North America, clocked in at 91%; Eleven Madison Park, #2 on the list, with 3 Michelin stars and costing about $500 per person received 87% “excellent” or “very good.” At Mediterráneo Havana you will spend between $8.00 and $30.00 for a 4 to 6 course meal.
Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana is also at the forefront of the Farm to Table movement in Cuba, where tours of the farms which produce their food are being organized. Diners can see firsthand how the plants are grown and how the animals are cared for, then come to the restaurant for a meal where they can enjoy the result of combining fresh food with world class culinary techniques.
The committee was particularly impressed that Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana has founded such an establishment in the challenging economic environment that Cuba still presents for entrepreneurs. Because of its reputation for freshness and quality, the restaurant is now prominently featured on tour itineraries for foreign visitors. Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, Restaurante Mediterráneo Havana has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY CROWN AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.