Is Prostitution Part of Educational Travel?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The Treasury Department recently gave a group of New York City celebrity chefs an educational travel license (under the Obama Administration's new "people-to-people" rules) to participate in a Havana festival.

As if serving gourmet meals while regular Cubans struggle to serve themselves any meal wasn't insulting enough, at least one of the chefs took the "people-to-people" definition too literally.

As Eater National magazine asks (trying to be cute):

"What happens when you take ten American chefs, mostly from New York, and send them to Cuba for a cooking event? One of them takes two prostitutes home who then rob him blind."

Hilarious, huh?

Even less hilarious was celebrity chef Sara Jenkins of the East Village's Porsena Restaurant, who tweeted:

"So one of the American chefs in Cuba took two whores home with him and then got robbed of all his money #butofcourse #icantsaywho!"

Boy, these "people-to-people" programs are really winning the hearts and minds of the Cuban people.

Could this new policy be any more insulting and counter-productive?

Among the potential culprits are chefs Marco Canora (Hearth Terroir), Mark Ladner (Del Posto), Sisha Ortúzar (Riverpark), Pierre Thiam (Le Grand Dakar), Eduardo Valle (Del Posto) and Doug Rodríguez (Alma de Cuba).

Now let's see if Treasury is serious about their recent enforcement language.