As winter is well and truly over and the Valencian sun is shining, spring is finally amongst us. For Mi Cub, the tapas restaurant in Mercado de Colón, the changing of seasons is particularly relevant as it is time for them to introduce a typical and traditional Valencian recipe into their menu as a part of their initiative, ‘The 4 seasons of the earth’. The initiative seeks to highlight the essence of Valencian gastronomy and give value to local and seasonal products. Indeed, ‘Titaina’ is a dish that has been on Mi Cub’s menu for two seasons because, as the participants confirmed, it is cooked year-round. The competition would however determine which chef’s ‘Titaina’ would feature on their menu this season.
On Wednesday 29th March, Mi Cub in Mercado Colon hosted a tournament that saw residents of the seaside district, El Cabanyal, compete for their place on Mi Cub’s seasonal menu. Boro Peiró, the journalist from Onda Cero, led the event providing witty and endearing commentary that kept the audience engaged and put the contestants at ease. The jury was made up of attending media and I was invited to attend as a representative of ‘24/7 Valencia’.
We were given five dishes to taste, and they were accompanied with bread, olives, nuts and a Turia beer. The bowls had numbers underneath as we were required to vote for our favourite recipe of the five participants: María Angeles Monteagudo, Carmen Lacomba (the winner of the last edition), Juani Zapata, María Domenech and Ángel Zarzo. Last year’s winner, Carmen was born in El Cabanyal and learnt the traditional recipe from her mother. She is always delighted to make it and says that “those who try it don’t even leave the pot because of how delicious it is!” Carmen told us how she especially enjoys making this dish at Easter when her mother-in-law comes from Barcelona.
Ultimately, it was María Angeles Monteagudo who received the title accrediting her as the best cook while the rest of the participants received recognition and a commemorative apron. María explained her love of the recipe, so typical of her neighbourhood, and told how she makes it for special family occasions. The winner’s recipe was composed of tomato, green pepper, garlic, tonyina de sorra, pine nuts and olive oil from Porcuna (Jaén), her husband’s hometown.
María was very humble and tearful when she was announced as the competition’s winner as she explained she came with the attitude of just wanting to have a go and never expected to win! Her recipe will appear on Mi Cub’s menu hopefully by this weekend. Anabel Navas, the director of Mi Cub, was very satisfied with the competition’s outcome stating “Our intention is none other than to make this event a classic in the gastronomic calendar of the city.” And the turnout of today’s event would suggest this is something they have achieved.
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
Mi Cub Address:
Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, 46004, València
(Located within Mercado de Colón)
Tlf. 963 94 03 59