I Can't Resist the Temptation of Puffing on a Habano
THIS YOUNG WOMAN, THE ONLY CUBAN CONTESTANT TO REACH THE GRAND FINALE OF THE TALENT SHOW MASTER CHEF ESPAÑA — ONE OF THE MOST HIGH-PROFILE TALENT SHOWS IN THE WORLD — WILL DELIGHT PARTICIPANTS OF THE 22st HABANOS FESTIVAL WITH HER TALENT AND CHARM
Ketty Fresneda was curious about cooking since she was a little girl. She watched her grandmother cook in the stove with a versatility learned by experience and daily urgency. She was intrigued by the way flavors combined in the meal, triggering that pleasant taste in the palate as well as the wholesome of her soul. Afterwards, she studied medicine for four years at the University of Medical Sciences in Havana, but she fell in love and moved to Spain. There, she pursued a career in Nutrition. Perhaps it was homesickness and the unavoidable feeling of missing her roots which led her to taking refuge in the preparations of meals that might bring back memories of her family, her home, her homeland…Step by step, her passion for gastronomy grew bigger and wound up captivating her.
And so this young woman started a quest that led her to becoming the first Cuban woman to reach the grand finale of the 6th edition of the talent show Master Chef España. It seems pretty easy when you put it that way, but that's a far cry from the truth. She had to do better than 23,000 candidates and paved her way every week with strong willpower, effort, and humbleness. In this line, she had to prove her skills in the finale before the eyes of topnotch judges, always championing her identity.
Ketty Fresneda, who regards herself as a hundred percent Cuban woman, with a Galician accent though, arrives in her homeland — she was here last September attending the 9th Excelencias Gourmet International Gastronomic Seminar this year where she reconnected again with her culture and displayed her skills—, to share flavors and charm at an unusual venue this time: the 22nd Habano Festival, an excellent opportunity to prove that gastronomy also serves to unite, bring together and summon.
This young woman — she has a Master's Degree in Sweet Cuisine at the Basque Culinary Center, the first university of gastronomic sciences in Spain and one of the most prestigious centers in the world — said, as part of an exclusive interview granted to Excelencias, that she welcomed the invitation to attend an exclusive event like the Habano Festival: “I believe in the future of Cuban gastronomy. In this regard, pairing a Habano with our rums is one of the most indescribable pleasures of life.”
And it could not be any better than that. For Ketty, stereotypes aside, Cuba tastes of rum and Habanos; rumba and salsa; but also of coffee, rice and beans, pork chops and a wonderful local mojito. These are some of the elements she likes to share with millions of followers in her social networks at https://www.facebook.com/ketty. fresneda.1, as well as her active Instagram profile @kettymchef6.
She points out she is very pleased to attend the Festival. “Everything related to the culture of my nation will be always a chance for me to grow. It is funny. I am not prone to smoking cigarettes, but I cannot resist the temptation to puff on a Habano. I think events like this are very valuable and I hope to attend more than once. I love my Cuban roots, especially when I am in my country smoking Habanos. I want to enjoy everything I can do and learn as much as I can.”
Out of the many attractions you may find in the Habanos' universe, Ketty is fascinated by “the smell, the history treasured in them. The fact that we are master craftsmen worldwide and we can say that out loud. We have the world's best tobacco and I am very pleased to boast about it. Whenever I can embrace my land and its culture, I will be here as long as my schedule permits.”
At present, the thoughts and plans of this young chef are aimed at finding a place, as she loves to say, “to start a small business,” where she may pay tribute to Cuba and its tradition. She is also resuming her major: nutrition. As for future projects, she says she is not too concerned about the future, or at least she is trying not to. “You have your own desires every day. Hence, I work hard and I make a plan for myself according to what I have at hand.”
At the end of the interview, we raised the question about the link between gastronomy and the universe of Habanos. We asked her about how both fields meet and what make both so special. The answer is clear for Ketty Fresneda: “Today, gastronomy is much more than just eating. It is a set of practices linked to hedonism, which hover around several products. Tasting some good meat, paired with an excellent wine, with background music and a final after-dinner conversation with the possibility to enjoy rums and Habanos, I believe it is the ultimate experience, a chance to reach wholesomeness. In my opinion, the creation of a common thread about what Habanos and our rums bring to our mind, should be a necessary concept in the emerging gastronomic culture.