Big international food world news today: Chefs Enrique Olvera (Pujol, Mexico City; Cosme, NYC), Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz, San Sebastian), and Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena) — all of whom have restaurants on the World's 50 Best List — are teaming up to open a restaurant in Cuba. According to Identita Golose (translated), the restaurant will likely be called Pasta, Tapas, Y Tacos, based on the three foods the chefs specialize in. Olvera and Aduriz announced late last year that they had plans to expand to the communist country and open a place that "aspires to be on a hypothetical list of the most fun restaurants in the world." However, the project stalled.
Now that Bottura is on board, the chefs have announced steps to make the restaurant a reality. Bottura tells Identita Golose that the restaurant will open in Havana. The trio will "go on an expedition to Cuba in the first week of December" where they will look at "places of potential." Bottura notes that the Italian ambassador has helped set up the trip so that they can visit without any "anxieties or expectations." President Obama re-established diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba in December for the first time in 56 years making it easier for Cuba to trade with other countries and for Americans to visit.
Still, the chefs must overcome a number of hurdles in order to open their new Havana restaurant. Chiefly, they need to figure out how to obtain access to fresh food. Bottura notes: "There is little fresh food... what little they have, [they import from Canada], historically friends of the Cubans... they mainly [have] chicken and beans [in Cuba]." Still, the chefs are determined. Bottura tells the Gazzetta Di Modena (translated) that Cuba "will be the new destination [hotspot in] the next ten years" and that all three of the chefs "like challenges."