Chic, sophisticated, glamorous, witty and above all, fun, Asia de Cuba combines a high-energy environment with its Chino-Latino menu; intensely flavored, imaginatively prepared and ultimately celebratory. Rooted in the Chino-Latino cafes that dotted the streets--first of Havana, and then of Miami and New York, Asia de Cuba has created a style of food and service all its own.
Asia de Cuba's Chef, Luis Pous, born and raised in Cuba, started his career training at the National School of Culinary Arts in Havana, where he cooked for numerous diplomats and foreign dignitaries. He lived in Havana until moving to Miami in 1997, where he became the Chef at Big Fish on the Miami River. Chef Pous later became Executive Chef of the acclaimed Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, which was soon after named by Travel + Leisure as one of the top five hotel restaurants in the world.
Havana's Chinatown, El Barrio Chino de la Habana, is one of the oldest and largest in Latin America. Beginning in the late 19th century, 150,000 Chinese came to work the sugar and coffee plantations, many from Canton in the south. As both are near the Tropic of Cancer they share similar weather and climates, and so Chinese vegetables were able to thrive in the Cuban soil. In the next few decades, many Chinese immigrants from California settled in Cuba, bringing with them new techniques and recipes, like Fried Rice, further improved by the island's abundant shellfish.
Some of the Chinese culinary traditions, ingredients and techniques soon found their way into the canon of Cuban cooking, and vice versa, marking the beginning of a natural fusion of cuisines. El Barrio Chino continued to grow, with many new restaurants, cafes, markets, theaters, banks and cultural institutions to serve the burgeoning Chinese population, reaching its peak in the 1950s. However, starting in the 1960s, there has been no room for culinary innovation or evolution, and Cuban chefs have had minimal access to even the most basic of ingredients.
Today, at Asia de Cuba, Chef Pous serves his interpretation of what Asian influenced Cuban food would have become today if Cuban chefs had been able to innovate and evolve their cuisine with the palate of global ingredients now available to the rest of the world. Chef Pous is taking this opportunity to showcase his heritage and experience, along with Jeffrey Chodorow's original vision for Asia de Cuba, through his unique cuisine.