Sabores de Mexico..Pedralba Hosts its Third Major Gastronomic Event!!!!

Pedralba3Pedralba is a small town, if not village, 35 km from Valencia but with a big gastronomic heart! The town is the first to the West of the Capital of Valencia Province which falls within the Serranos comarca, beyond the Camp de Turia. Its gastronomy , although removed by just 10km from Vilamarxant has a distinct style and flavour, more attuned to its place at the base of the mountains ( and thus its gastronomy) from where the River Turia flows.

But those in the know are well aware Pedralba punches well above its weight when it comes to wine and gastronomy! It has , in the past hosted Serraltur, the regions annual food and wine fair for example.

In the more distant past it  had a claim to be the cradle of wine-making.


La Pitanza, Cocina Mimada

La Pitanza, Cocina Mimada

Today only its trademark names survive, `Plantafina´ for a white and red and `Bonachon´  for an extremely good sweet red wine. This is somewhat ironic as `Plantafina de Pedralba´ was in fact a distinct white variety from this area, long believed to have been grubbed up and just a distant memory in the older inhabitants collective history.

Of course nothing ever really dies and in the last few weeks a recuperated plot of vines from this old grape variety has been launched, through Bodegas Monsarto Perdigón , with two new wines. The first is a pure Plantafina and the second a blend with Moscatel. Both will be previewed by the Pedralba wine club, appropriately, next weekend!


I first visited Pedralba for a birthday lunch in one of Valencia´s best kept secret restaurants, `La Pitanza´. I flirted with the menu del dia on several occasions later and had been  several more times for meals until the lure of alternative  gastronomic delights made visiting a more infrequent event.

Silvia Melendez.

Silvia Melendez.

Silvia Melendez is the chef at this restaurant. She has always been someone I have been able to ask for advice and recipes and from the 1990´s when she worked in her families restaurant, subsequently working with Oscar Torrijos and other prestigious Valencian `cocineros´or  teaching chefs in  the Valencian Governments catering schools, she has had Valencian cookery in her heart. Silvia was one of the original chefs to defend the authentic Valencian Paella and eventually set up in Pedralba in her own family restaurant.

Signature dish from the Summer menu, La Pitanza

Signature dish from the Summer menu, La Pitanza

Here she has applied her knowledge of modern techniques to enhance traditional Valencian gastronomy and make her dishes more applicable to modern tastes without losing the essence of their origins!

She is one of a group of modern chefs whose care for her cuisine is already legendary.

The training continues and Silvia runs courses for local amateur cooks, for the housewives associations, local schools  and regularly hosts groups of trainee chefs from Mexico where she has contacts in the University of Mexico City DF Ixtalahuaca.


Which brings us to the theme for what is the 3rd Gastronomic event Silvia has organised and Pedralba is hosting, under the banner `Arte y Gastronomia´ which enjoys the support of the Diputación in Valencia, the Valencian Government and its catering training school ( the CdT) the town hall in Pedralba as well as several other important chefs from across Valencia. They run restaurants just below Michelin star level      ( or maybe just not yet recognised as being at that level!) Support also comes from the Mexican Consulate in Barcelona and the whole of Valencia´s gastronomic elite!

It is perhaps a fact not widely understood that Spain in general,  Valencia in particular and Mexico enjoy close working relationships that are deeper than maybe perceived.

The interchange between trainee chefs from Mexico and Spain is deep-rooted, Ferran Adria of `El Bulli´ fame amongst others has been involved in similar projects. For this event the fourteen professors of gastronomy from the University will take part in a series of events, including cookery classes in the CdT, culminating in a dinner to be held on Monday night in Pedralba for some 200 guests to which producers of the best quality Valencian wines, olive oils and craft beers, amongst others ( suppliers of delicatessens)  have been invited to match their products.

Sebastian Romero. Worked at El Bulli.

Sebastian Romero. Worked at El Bulli.

The Valencian chefs invited to participate alongside Silvia are Ruben Ruiz of `La Matandeta´ ( Sedavi) , Antonio Aliaga of `Venere´( Alcira)  Julio Colomer of `Ciro´( Valencia) , Sebastian Romero of `La Sequieta´ ( Alaquas) , Rafa Calabuig of `El Tinell de Calabuig´( Ontinyent)  and Raul Barruguer, professor at the CdT.

Raul Barruguer at a Wikipaella masterclass.

Raul Barruguer at a Wikipaella masterclass.

Guests and the paying public are promised a fusion of Mexican flavours ( which I suspect will neither  include tacos nor  chilli con carne)  based around  strong meat dishes and desserts. Whatever is served should go some way to cementing the culinary relationship between the Valencian Community, their best chefs and those from Mexico whilst providing an entertaining evening for all concerned!

The public may apply for tickets direct from the Ayuntamiento of Pedralba and purchase them online by making payment by electronic transfer to the following account; ES14 30582294952732100017   35€ each.

Sabores Hispano Mexicanos

VÍ vid, who have collaborated in the event and a number of food bloggers and the press will provide a detailed account of the evening,  early next week!








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