Candem Town. Any weekend in London. Thousands of tourist walk around food stands- the subway stop is closed in order that the ones that are leaving from this neighborhood don't collapse it- as well as tacos, fish and chips, or thai spring rolls, the visitor always finds a huge paella (the name is taken from the container in which is coocked) full of rice, beans, chorizo and others illegible products. Valencians who walk around gabble between them after seeing what is announced as paella, their most known meal.
"The problem is not just seeing atrocious paella in London, but also in the center of Valencia" grumbles Pablo Margós. the Head Chef of "Las Bairetas" a well-known rice place located in Chiva where 143 paellas have been cooked at the same time. "Valencian Paella is what it is. Later on, a single one can cook rice with pork ribs and pepers, or with angler fish and prawns, maybe it is delicious, but it won't be paella".
The most unusual that Margós has found around the world is a poster in which paella was announced as a dish named "noodlecool" wich was composed, among other vexations, by sausages, cheese and ketchup. Some enterprises are spread to Saint Vicente street and Virgen's Square, which is the most touristic and affluent route in the birthplace of one of the most dishes in the world, but they offer prefabricated paellas which ruins the reputation of this delicated dish as it is explained by Margós: "Anything is made in less than one hour abd three quarters or two hours".
Because of this, during several months some Valencian cooks are making effort to reveal the DNA of their exquisite. Because a rice with stuff is not paella. "Every time we defend more what belongs to us and now there is a movement to defend the essence of our most universal dish". But is a very hard task. The identity theft is not just because of "random cooks" but the lack of awareness goes reaches Michelin's stars.
Gordon Ramsay accumulate 14 among some of their restaurants. The popular British chef presumes of knowing how to cook paella, even that in his list of ingredients is not the ortodoxe way. In his receipe we can appreciate pepper, chorizo and white wine. Chorizo in fact burst into well-known kitchen from all over the world. Jamie Olvier introduce it in the frying pan next to the chicken, mussels and prawns. Martha Stewart, the American, add a handful of beans to the rice, slices of sausages and curcuma. The Australian Donna Hay enjoys mixing cherry tomatoes, chorizo, cilantro breast and chile. And she didn't bat an eyelid. "This is not paella" confirms Margós by the light of the stars. "Even though maybe the problem is that they cook what they have seen in Valencia" he complains.