The annual Tastarros Festival, a prestigious event organised by the Denomination of Origin Arroz de Valencia, witnessed a remarkable highlight this year with the participation of Xavi Meroño, the esteemed founder of Paella Shack by London Paella School. The festival, known for showcasing the finest rice dishes from the region’s top restaurants, welcomed Meroño’s innovative culinary artistry with great enthusiasm.

Bringing the vibrant flavours of London to Valencia, Xavi Meroño introduced festival-goers to his celebrated creation, The Soho’s Lamb & Aubergine Paella Rice. This distinctive dish, originally crafted in the bustling Berwick Street Market, heart of Soho, captivated attendees with its unique blend of traditional Valencian rice and modern, urban flavours.

During the festival, Meroño took to the main stage for an engaging showcooking session. Enthusiasts and food connoisseurs gathered eagerly as he shared the intriguing backstory of his famous paella, detailing its journey from the iconic London market to the esteemed tables of Valencia. His demonstration not only showcased his exceptional cooking techniques but also highlighted the rich cultural exchange between London and Valencia through the medium of food.

The interactive session saw Meroño passionately explain the meticulous process of preparing The Soho’s Lamb & Aubergine Paella Rice, with the audience actively participating, asking insightful questions about the ingredients and cooking methods. Following the demonstration, attendees had the delightful opportunity to sample the dish, which was met with widespread acclaim and appreciation.


Xavi Meroño’s participation in Tastarros 2024 underscored the festival’s commitment to celebrating culinary innovation and excellence. His presence not only enriched the event but also strengthened the bond between international culinary traditions and the revered rice culture of Valencia.

About Paella Shack by London Paella School: Founded by Xavi Meroño, Paella Shack by London Paella School is renowned for its authentic and innovative paella dishes, blending traditional Valencian techniques with contemporary flavours. Serving at street markets like the Walthamstow Sunday Social every Sunday or at Camberley Market in Surrey, or in catering events acclaim for its dedication to culinary excellence and cultural fusion.

About Tastarros Festival: Organised by the Denomination of Origin Arroz de Valencia, the Tastarros Festival is an annual celebration of the region’s rich rice heritage. The event gathers the best restaurants and chefs dedicated to Valencian rice, featuring an incredible lineup of culinary talents and gourmet experiences.