We recently dined at Favela Cubana where chef Oscar Santana is dishing up Cuban and Brazilian dishes to delight his clientele. Santana took the experience gained at Provence, Cercle Rouge and Soho Steak and translated his skills into Brazilian and Cuban food; not a fusion but side by side and updated with a contemporary flair. Here’s what Chef Santana told us during his interview.
FriendsEAT: Did you grow up cooking?
Chef Oscar Santana: Yes, I learned from my mother, who influenced my cooking the most.
FE: What made you decide to become a chef?
COS: I am passionate about food from all around the world.
FE: What misconceptions do people have coming into the field?
COS: They don’t realize the amount of hard work, long hours, and the constant demand of creating new dishes.
FE: What is the best tip you would give a novice?
COS: Be creative without having to closely follow recipes. To go into your own refrigerator and create your own dishes.
FE: What are the three cooking tools you can’t live without?
FE: Do you have a favorite ingredient?
COS: No favorites. Always open to new global ingredients.
If you would like to taste Chef Santana’s food, head to Favela Cubana located at 543 La Guardia Place, New York, NY 10012 (212) 777-6500.
You’ve been there, let us know what you think.