What a fabulous, fun, frenzied day! The first ever Paella Cook-Off at Pearl was a hit!
More than a couple of dozen local and national chefs competed to see who could make the most beautiful, tasty and ‘correct’ paella. PLUS, what was I thinking!!! I competed along with those amazing chefs and so did my buddy at the Express News Ed Tijerina. Talk about stress! These chefs brought teams of experts to work their magic…at my station it was me and my partner and hubby of 27 years Mike (2nd picture). Can you say HELP!!!
Luckily, I had the most incredible station where my competitors were also friends like the amazing Isaac Cantu from Watermark Grill and Chef Extraordinaire Jason Dady. Also at my station, actor Harrison Ford’s son who is incredibly talented, Ben Ford (he’s in the first picture w/me). And, this down to earth nice guy who actually lent me a spoon and some cutting board space took home FIRST prize.
Hundreds turned out for the event to taste paella and talk to their favorite chefs like local chef star Bruce Auden who wasn’t competing but was serving up some yummy food!
Local Chef Johnny Hernandez, whose new restaurant La Gloria at Pearl opens late spring, spearheaded the event, and what a success it was. Culinary expert Shelly Grieshaber also shouldered a lot of the load and she did an incredible job as emcee too.
A big thank you to Williams-Sonoma at North Star for the beautiful decorations on my table!!!
No doubt, this will be an annual event-it was such fun!