Cuba Libre | Philadelphia
Cuba Libre at the Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort | Atlantic City, NJ
Brûlée: The Dessert Experience at the Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort | Atlantic City, NJ
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
guests $130Though Paris and Havana boast very distinct cultures, they share one important trait: a love of food. On this special night, the Beard House will showcase the food and spirit of both cities in a dinner that begins with the Latin-Caribbean soul of Cuba Libre’s Guillermo Veloso and ends with the Gallic sweetness of Brûlée’s Jemal Edwards.As an undergraduate, Veloso envisioned a life devoted to archaeology. While in school, he worked in restaurants and filled in when the cook on archaeological digs took the occasional day off. In his spare time, he read Escoffier and Larousse, practicing the dishes that intrigued him. As Veloso was increasingly drawn to life in the kitchen, the study of archaeology and the past became a source of new culinary inspiration. He began to incorporate the dishes of earlier cultures into his repertoire, eventually trading in his spades and brushes for knives and pans and enrolling at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He went on to work for Douglas Rodriguez at Yuca in Coral Gables, Florida, and eventually ascended to the eatery’s top spot, helping to open a second location in Miami’s South Beach area. In 2000 he headed north to open the first iteration of Cuba Libre, and is now the executive chef of both the Philadelphia and Atlantic City locations.
Adding a Parisian touch to this unique dinner will be Jemal Edwards, pastry chef at Brûlée: The Dessert Experience. “It’s worth saving room for a sweet splurge at Brûlée,” advised the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan, who wrote that the place offered a “most refined and unusual dining experience.” A native of Louisiana, Edwards has worked closely with some of the brightest pastry minds in France, including Sebastian Gaudard at Fauchon and Gilles Bajolle at Taillevent. He has served as the executive pastry chef at New York’s Nobu, Tavern on the Green, and One if by Land, Two if by Sea, as well as the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.