Hot Chef: Guillermo Pernot brought Latin food to Philly

Guillermo Pernot is making sure you eat your plantains.
Guillermo Pernot is making sure you eat your plantains.

Free up your Tuesdays, people, because Cuba Libre has recently introduced a Tapas Tuesdays promo. For $27 you can taste all the tapas the “nuevo Cubano” restaurant has to offer. We caught up with Guillermo Pernot, the Argentina-born chef responsible not only for this old City hotspot but for the once loved, now closed ¡Pasión! Restaurant. No big deal or anything, but he’s the guy who’s usually credited with bringing Latin dining to Philly.

Whose idea was it to start Tapas Tuesdays, and how long will they run?
We decided as a group at the restaurant that we wanted something interesting to happen. We think that this is a way for people to experience what Cuba Libre is all about. It depends how successful it is, but we’re keeping it around at least through the summer.

You opened Cuba Libre in 2001. How have you seen Second Street and Old City change?
Cuba Libre has been there for 12 years and it’s a pillar of that part of town. It’s helped to shape the food and entertainment in the neighborhood.

How has the food scene changed in Philly since you’ve been here?
It’s come a long way. When I first moved here there were a few restaurants like Le Bec Fin and the Fish Market. Now you can go anywhere in the city and find major chefs like Morimoto and Garces. We have changed the cuisine scene. When I first started cooking in Philadelphia no one knew what a plantain was. I was the first making Latin food.

You live outside the city, right? What are you doing for fun on your days off?
Yes, I live in Wynnewood. I’m constantly working, moving from one restaurant to another. When I’m home, though, we invite friends over. We built a beautiful kitchen and our friends come over to cook together. The majority of my time is spent around food.

Have you been to any good summer concerts or festivals this year?
No. I love to go to concerts but it’s hard to find the time. The Rolling Stones were in town and I couldn’t get out to see them so they came to see me. We had a party for them at the restaurant. It was so cool to see Mick Jagger walk through the kitchen.


Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…


D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.


'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 Join Philadelphia…


Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…


Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.


NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?


Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.


Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.


Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…


Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.