When the 54th International Paella Championships heats up in Sueca, Spain on 14 September 2014, Australia will be there to compete for the title of “Best Paella Chef in the World”. The competition is the highlight of the annual 10-day rice festival that takes place in this Valencian community, known as “the birthplace of paella”. The event draws paella lovers from all over Spain and beyond.
To determine who would compete for Australia, Sydney-based Spanish catering company Flavours of Spain (www.flavoursofspain.com.au) organised the inaugural International Spanish Paella Championships on our own shores earlier this year. The contest invited 30 Australian and international chefs to cook and compete for the title of “Best Paella Chef in Oceania”. On May 25 on Sydney’s celebrated Manly Beach, chef Hassan M’Souli of Manly’s Out of Africa restaurant was crowned the winner at this first-ever local event to showcase the iconic Spanish dish.
Second place went to chef Failino Lattarulo from Simply Spanish restaurant in Melbourne, and Alex Fry from Sah Modern Mediterranean restaurant in Adelaide took home a third-place win. The three winners will next fly to Sueca in September to compete alongside paella enthusiast, chef, and Flavours of Spain founder Miguel Cuevas for the chance to be recognised worldwide as the world’s leading paella chef.
Cuevas was named the Paella Ambassador in Australia by Wikipaella.org, an organisation whose aim is to protect the authenticity of Spanish paella around the world. “I am very excited to be able to compete in Europe’s oldest and most prestigious food competition, the Sueca Paella World Cup,” says Cuevas. “I have put together Carbonell’s Team Australia to represent Oz. I am very confident we have a good chance to do well and make Australia proud in this very important world event.”
Organised by Flavours of Spain, the team of Cuevas, M’Souli, Lattarulo, and Fry has chosen to partner with Carbonell, Spain’s best-selling traditional olive oil brand. Olive oil is an essential ingredient in authentic Spanish paella. “The key to a great paella really is a quality Spanish olive oil like Carbonell,” says Cuevas. “Paella is great for heart health, as it combines fresh vegetables, rice and seafood with lots of olive oil to provide a rich source of omega 3 and 6. Given that paella originated in Spain, it makes sense to use a quality Spanish olive oil like Carbonell to achieve a truly authentic Spanish flavour..”
About Flavours of Spain: Flavours of Spain caters birthday and anniversary parties, weddings, and corporate events, bringing chef Miguel Cuevas’ authentic and delicious paellas to the masses in Australia. The caterer has won numerous awards and is the only Spanish catering company in Australia with the Restaurant & Catering Association’s Gold Licence, the HACCP accreditation and the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.
About Carbonell: Carbonell www.carbonell.com.au was founded in 1866 by Antonio Carbonell, who had a vision to produce high-quality Spanish olive oil. His legacy is now the world's largest Spanish olive oil brand. Carbonell olive oil is produced from olives grown under the Mediterranean sun in Cordoba, Spain. Carbonell selects only the very best Spanish olives, so you can be assured of premium quality every time you buy the company’s olive oil.