I'm Edu Valor - Let Me Take You Inside Spain's Authentic Kitchen

Spain in a Pan is my life and food experience since I was a kid. Consider it your insider's guide to Spain's cuisine. With tradition and authenticity as the golden thread throughout the site.

Forgive me for the occasional writing error on this site, as English is not my native language. I will do my best!

A variety of tapas dishes and coldcuts on a tableA mix of freshly made tapas

My Spanish roots showed me a rich kitchen. Thanks to the regional diversity and history on the Iberian peninsula. 

There's something about those whitewashed villages with vineyard and olive tree covered hills. Walking down the narrow streets while catching the appetizing aromas of local restaurants.

That is another reason why one wants to visit España. To taste those dishes with exotic and rich flavors.

My family is fairly large, centered around Seville (one of the culinary hubs) and spread across Spain through Valencia, Irun and Madrid.

There's an air of openness and freedom in my country that I very much enjoy.  I would gladly share that with you. 

A little More About Me, Chef Edu!

Edu cooking authentic paella Valenciana outside in the garden.Preparing an authentic paella Valenciana.

I'm passionate about cooking Spanish food. Always with its taste in mind. To bring you nothing less than exquisite dishes from my home country. My recipes are the real deal!

As a teenager, I was already experimenting with desserts or discovering new ones. 

There was the occasional surprise when I opened the frig to find the desserts gone. Yes, I had a knack for cooking, just like my cheeky sisters.

We were and still are competitive when it comes to food.

Ensaladilla, paella, cocido, zarzuela, puchero, pinchos, huevos rotos, arroz con leche, and more are all standard in our homes. Diversity is the recurring,  magic word.

Even in college, a little voice kept reminding me becoming a chef might be another option besides film school.

Meet Isabel – My Sis and the Lead Chef

She's the youngest of the 3 sisters. With that passion for food, sooner or later one of us would start a restaurant, and so it happened! "Pasión y Sabor" was the birth-child of Isabel and her partner Johan. 

Isabel behind the cooking stove, holding a mixed tapas dish in her professional kitchen.Isabel showing a mixed tapas dish.

Making good food artfully is the goal, through hard work and courage. So, the customers keep coming back.

It is all possible from Belgium. The country my parents moved to in the 60's. Ingredients were always available despite where we live.

Local produce is excellent. If we can make delicious food, you can too! Spanish (online) stores in our region are there in case we need that "special" ingredient.

Or we just bring them in from a trip to Spain.

Our decades of experience and culture are dedicated to you. The visitor of SpaininaPan.com.

Taste and How I Tickle Your Taste Buds!

Cooked leek with Spanish romesco sauce on a plateCooked leek with romesco sauce. Simple and good at the same time.

Did I say taste? For people to enjoy food, taste and fresh ingredients are everything. You can't have one without the other.

Obviously, a good restaurant chef knows all about taste. The importance was even more drilled into me when I was a care taker for my mother.

She suffered from CKD (Chronic Kidney Failure) and had to keep a low salt diet.

That forced her and me to cook saltless. Yet, with the help of her dieticians, we managed to prepare enjoyable foods that I had myself.

A sorrow shared, is a sorrow halved. But honestly, I liked the CKD dishes. You'd be surprised what can be done with lemon juice, vinegar, herbs, and a few other things. 

I got creative and learned new taste enhancing techniques. It's part of the job, whether you cook with or without salt. You could take advantage of what I learned.

In a restaurant, it speaks for itself why a dish is tasted before serving. It's a good habit to have.

The USA Surprise

You could say I'm well traveled. Visiting a foreign country is an opportunity to explore the culture. Including local dishes.

I just love to try new or exotic dishes. There's value in what you can learn from foreign kitchens, by gaining new insights. That much food curiosity (and appetite!) has its advantages.

Without going down the road of which is best, I still stick with the Spanish cuisine. For the taste, my past and the health aspect. It's a personal preferation.

I live in a multi-cultural area, and have a wide range of food experiences.

Countries I visited and learned from:

  • USA: Utah, Idaho and Nevada.
  • the Netherlands
  • Germany
  • My home country Spain
  • the UK
  • France
  • Luxemburg

I wouldn't be honest if I said these cultures didn't help me. On the contrary, they made me a better cook. 

There was a surprise awaiting in the USA, way back in 1996. What I considered fast-food country number 1, I realized we had yet to wake up to the US American kitchen.

Two men having lunch at KFC on a window table.With Tony from New Jersey. Having the occasional KFC is not a sin!

Before the Internet, a lot of Europeans considered American food to be no good and unhealthy. Or so we thought!

I had some of the finest meats you could find, rivaling Argentinian meat dishes. Duck roasts that were just as refined as the ones in France.

It was partly thanks to my good friend Tony, that I got introduced to slow cooking and meat seasonings. The importance of temperature, time and how they affect proteins.

Americans excel at preparing several kinds of meat. Besides that perfect, non-fastfood burger in Utah, in the summer of 1996.

What stood out over the years and in my travels: simple ingredients are all you need to make great food. Believe it or not!

The rest is a matter of timing and balanced ingredients. Knowledge that I implement in cooking. Use that to your advantage.

Our Spanish family traditions and decades of cultural experience are right here at your fingertips. You're just a few steps away from the know-how, from cooking proper Spain dishes.

Do look around and enjoy the site. You might find that recipe with that unusual but delightful taste. Who knows, it could be one to make again soon. 

Edu Valor