Chef Ketty Fresneda: "I always carry Cuba in my thoughts"

Chef Ketty Fresneda talks with CiberCuba about the confinement period, Cuban food and future projects she has in Pontevedra.

Chef Ketty Fresneda © Cortesía para CiberCuba
Chief Ketty Fresneda Photo © Courtesy of CiberCuba

This article is from 3 years ago

Ketty Fresneda She is a Cuban living in Pontevedra, Galicia, which became popular after the sixth edition of MasterChef Spain, where she won the title of runner-up. The television program opened aprofessional path in the fantastic universe of gastronomy and hospitality.

Kitty is currently achef with a lot of creativity and tropical flavor, who waits for the right opportunity toopen a new gastronomic establishment in your city of residence. CiberCuba talks with her about her experience of confinement in times of coronavirus and her future projects.

Ketty Fresneda in MasterChef Spain 6

The coronavirus crisis paused the gastronomy sector in Spain. What effects has it left and how did it influence your work?

I think that the effects it has left, in addition to many people unemployed, unemployed and depending on government benefits, has been a state of great uncertainty for the hospitality industry and I am within this sector.

We are waiting to see what is going to happen. If there will be a resurgence, if the measures that have been proposed are maintained in the premises. The truth is that it leaves a lot of uncertainty in the union.

Chief Ketty Fresneda

Things are paused. I wanted to open a store, but I will wait until we see how we get out of this situation and the economic consequences it may have on our customers. I am on “stand-by”… waiting.

The mandatory confinement awakened the culinary instinct of many people. What do you think is the reason for the fever of making cakes?

Cooking has always been a way to distract ourselves (for those of us who like it) and to test a little the chef within us.

At this stage I couldn't cook much because I dedicated myself to taking care of my nephews, but I did see people who were not dedicated to the subject before and now experiment with making cakes and everything. I think it's because, when they have free time, people take advantage of it to try new things.

Regarding the cake fever, well, pastry has that characteristic, it requires time and patience. Since we had all the time in the world, this stage at home has been the best time to experiment.

Many households are going through a tough economic crisis. How to eat a healthy diet with few resources? What foods should they prioritize and which ones to avoid when shopping?

I believe that vegetables, legumes and lots of vegetable protein, which is healthy and satiating, should be prioritized, as well as foods rich in fiber.

Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese) are very complete foods, they should be prioritized in times when nutrition may be in danger, especially in children. Cereals and fruits are also important.

Meat is essential, but in times of crisis people often refrain from buying it because it is the most expensive. On the other hand, a protein that cannot be missing in low-income homes is eggs because it has high biological value and allows them to be well nourished.

Among the foods that I would avoid are sweets, jams, chocolates, cookies. They are not cheap at all, the calories they provide are high, but they do not nourish you. Nutritionally they are not important.

Do you remember good times in Cuba, now that you are confined at home?

Yes, I remember good times. I always carry Cuba in my thoughts. I didn't spend the confinement there, but in the Dominican Republic. I was with my family and the truth is that we lived beautiful moments.

Ketty Fresnada for CiberCuba

We Cubans have the gift of taking these types of misfortunes with good humor and a very positive attitude. As we say, “let's keep everything going.”

What do you think you would cook if you were there?

If I were in Cuba I would surely have to cook a lot of stews, beans, peas, eggs, rice, sweet potato type foods, malanga, yucca. We would throw away a lot of what we have there.

The most complicated thing is dairy and meat, but hey, I think we have the ability to adapt. More or less I think it would be that, stews, vegetables, eggs and whatever comes up.

What worries you most about this crisis for the future?

I am worried that a vaccine will not be found or that diseases of this type will continue to emerge and that we will be affected again.

I am also worried that we will have to live with a mask. The idea that sectors that work facing the public have to wear a mask quite depresses me.

I respect the medical or health sector, which always works with this protection, but for those of us who face the public, I find it depressing. There are even people who combine their masks with their clothes, I don't like that.

In time all this will be over. What flavor do you want to add to the new stage of life?

My future project is to open a gastronomic establishment and I want it to be product cuisine, something local with Galician products and some tropical touch that cannot be missing.

When all this happens... I would give life an umami flavor, which is a tasty flavor that encompasses all flavors. That, I will put a tasty flavor: umami!

Would you dare to leave a recipe to Cubans, on and off the island?

Of course I would dare! In fact, I have a recipe that is very easy to prepare and I am sure that it will be great with Cuban avocados.

You can see it on my Instagram profile, I will post it again soon. If you want it, you can see it there. It's called Salmorejo with avocado and tomato. It has very few ingredients, it can be made in Cuba.

What do you think?


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Gretchen Sanchez

Branded Content Writer at CiberCuba. Doctor in Sciences from the University of Alicante and Graduate in Sociocultural Studies.

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