Cuban Chef Triumphs in Galicia Tapas Contest with Tostones Filled with Ropa Vieja

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 by Sophia Martinez

Cuban Chef Triumphs in Galicia Tapas Contest with Tostones Filled with Ropa Vieja
"Patacón de Abadía," recipe for tostones stuffed with ropa vieja - Image © Instagram La Cervecería

Yailé Alonso, a Cuban chef originally from Camagüey, has secured the first place in a tapas contest in Galicia, Spain. Her culinary creation, named 'Patacón de Abadía,' is a delightful take on tostones filled with ropa vieja.

Yailé works at "La Cervecería de Chantada" in the province of Lugo. This bar was one of the participants in the Chantapas contest. The event was organized by the local business association and the Centro Comercial Abierto (CCA) of Chantada, marking the return of the competition after several years of hiatus.

The public was responsible for voting for their favorite tapa, and they were captivated by Yailé's offering. Having lived in Galicia for twelve years, she shared her excitement in an interview with El Progreso. "I got off the plane and came here. I love this town," she remarked, admitting she never expected to win. "Many people came to congratulate me for the dish, and even some Latin American individuals were moved because the tapa reminded them of home," she added.

The plantain tostón, also known as tachino, chatino, and patacón, is popular in other Caribbean countries like Venezuela, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. In this case, it is prepared in a concave shape to hold the ropa vieja filling, a traditional Cuban dish. "Ropa vieja is shredded braised beef, which is then cooked with a good sofrito. For this version, I made the sauce with Abadía beer that we sell here," Yailé explained.

The final step to complete the tapa is frying thick slices of plantain slowly, creating the perfect base for the flavorful meat. "We entered a tapa in the contest just to participate, as there were very diverse and high-quality options in all the bars, and we didn't expect to win," commented Antonio García Olivero, the owner of La Cervecería de Chantada.

"We run out of the tapa every day. On the first day, we made 77, and they were gone in an hour and a half," Olivero recalled. The second place in the contest went to "Jugoso de tierra y mar" from A Viñoteca, and the third place was awarded to "Focaccia San Xoán" from Café Cantón. Hundreds of people visited the eight participating venues, stamping their passports to vote for their favorite bites.

The Chantapas event not only celebrated local gastronomy but also showcased how food can bridge cultures, bringing a piece of Cuba to the hearts and palates of Galicians.

Insights on Yailé Alonso's Award-Winning Tapa

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Yailé Alonso's victory and her unique culinary creation.

What is the main ingredient in Yailé Alonso's award-winning tapa?

The main ingredient is plantain, prepared as tostones and filled with ropa vieja, a traditional Cuban dish made of shredded braised beef.

How did Yailé Alonso make her tapa unique?

Yailé made her tapa unique by using Abadía beer in the sauce for the ropa vieja, adding a local twist to the Cuban dish.

Why was the Chantapas contest significant this year?

The Chantapas contest was significant because it marked the return of the competition after several years of absence, bringing together local businesses and the community to celebrate culinary diversity.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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