Pure passion for 'Wine and Food'

Really, the passion hangs around him like a warm blanket … The always enthusiastic owner and chef Simon Paauwe of the restaurant COSMO Taberna & Wines in Rojales is talking. Busily gesticulating, he tells his passionate story.


The success story started about 10 years ago in what he calls ‘the little Cosmo’. That was a small, cosy wine bar where you could go for a good tapped glass of beer, cocktails and an excellent glass of wine. That’s the exception rather than the rule in many bars …


However, ‘the little Cosmo’ didn’t have a kitchen, even after the internal renovation! There was, very tactically, a passageway at the back of the bar and one could go to the newly created terrace, fantastically situated on the Río Segura.


Both establishments used the name COSMO for the simple reason that the whole thing had to have an international appeal. COSMO is a derivative of the English word cosmopolitan which means cosmopolitan, or ‘aimed at the whole world’. And this exactly covers the vision of owners Simon Paauwe and his wife Rodica Niculae Paauwe who did not want to profile COSMO Taberna & Wines as a typically Dutch business. Simon: “I am the only one here who speaks Dutch … Everyone is welcome here, wherever you come from! The key word is international.”


But, as mentioned above, there was no kitchen. You may not be able to imagine it now, but the whole cooking thing literally started there in the ‘little Cosmo’ in the broom and pantry … Yes, you read it well! There Simon made, with the help of a frying pan and an induction plate, some tapas for the people who participated in the bingo evenings. And everyone in the choir was always shouting, “Gee, you’re a good cook!”


When the lease of the small Cosmo came to an end, the much larger, current building – after a very radical and tasteful renovation – was moved into. The intention was that the new COSMO Taberna & Wines would become a tapas bar. Simon laughs: “And then things got completely out of hand … Fortunately, in a positive sense!


Started with a small card and his inseparable Big Green Egg – now ‘grown’ from a Small to a Large model, even bigger simply doesn’t fit! – This was the beginning of the great success of COSMO Taberna & Wines.


But wine is and remains Simon’s great passion and is – with some 35 wines now fixed on the menu – the basis of COSMO. The spectacular wine list is as broad as it is diverse with many beautiful and reasonably affordable wines from different Spanish wine regions. But you will also find a number of beautiful French wines among them. By the way, many of the wines from COSMO Taberna & Wines are produced organically, even some vegan wines!


The renovation of the current COSMO Taberna & Wines has been carried out entirely in accordance with Simon’s philosophy. Stylish, of course, with a modern touch, but … The whole had to offer an easily accessible impression, with a high stroking factor and a high degree of accessibility! Once again: “A welcome for everyone!
Not too posh, Simon prefers to look for it in the other part of his philosophy. Namely, getting the very best out of himself to always put top quality on the plate! That’s why Simon often works outside of the menu, and only with daily fresh top products. If he can get hold of a nice piece of meat, he certainly won’t leave it behind. That’s why at COSMO Taberna & Wines you’ll always find the ‘Daily Chef’s Specials’ outside the menu.


Simon is very product-oriented and is always trying out new dishes in combination with various international flavours. In other words, fusion cuisine – an art of cooking that combines elements of different culinary styles, traditions and cooking techniques – is written for him!


A salient detail is the fact that this descendant from a purebred Horeca family is self-taught in the field of cooking, with a lot of success! Simon with a big smile: “I was always a member of the black brigade … So the service!


Enthusiastic and full of fire Simon indicates that their restaurant revolves around some – for him – very important key words. As we wrote above, he works exclusively with top products and considers it the most normal thing in the world to prepare all sauces himself, fresh. Furthermore, personal contact with guests is extremely important to him, because he likes to cook ‘to measure’. Simon is also busy developing all kinds of vegetarian and vegan options to meet this demand.


A culinary pleasure is undoubtedly the very popular 6 course tasting menu with possibly a matching wine arrangement. By the way, did you know that COSMO Taberna & Wines can also organize private parties – completely custom-made – for up to 50 people? And at COSMO you can also buy all their excellent wines for home use at attractive prices?


Ultimate enjoyment?
In a relaxed and romantic atmosphere, it’s delicacy dining, sipping an exquisite glass of wine,
on a quiet, leafy terrace on the Río Segura, by … COSMO Taberna & Wines.

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Calle Valentín Fuster 8 - 03170 Rojales
Mo - Sa