A hands-on cooking class, culiminating in dinner served with Spanish wine.
Paella has become a national Spanish dish, although it truly is a regional one, stemming from Valencia, the rice growing region on the south Mediterranean coast of Spain. There are as many recipes for paella as there are chefs who make it. The most fervent Valencians claim that none of the outsiders’ interpretations could ever be authentic.
In this hands-on workshop we will explore Camila Loew’s favorite version, which she perfected after living on the Mediterranean coast of Spain for 15 years and eating many-a-paella. The menu includes a hearty portion of seafood paella - considered a meal in itself - as well as a seasonal salad and marinated olives as aperitivo. For dessert we will prepare some pomegranate trifásico shots. We will pair the paella with Spanish wine, of course. The workshop will conclude with a true sobremesa, as Camila always insists.
Sixteen years ago, I fell in love with Spain. I was on a two-month journey during a hiatus before graduate school, and little did I know that two months would eventually turn into fifteen years. I fell in love with the Spanish lifestyle: the busy, sun-filled cities with streets full of people chatting away day and night, the small villages with their plazas, fresh markets, narrow streets and long siestas, the ancient Gothic churches nestled in winding pedestrian roads. And especially the food, oh the food, completely in tune with the way of life. Lunchtime stretched out for hours, through course after course of olive oil-drenched, fresh, colorful, seasonal goodness. In the evenings, tapas crawls were a must, bar hopping with a glass of red wine and something to nibble on so as to line one’s stomach. Always eat more than you drink, and you’ll never get too drunk, were the wise words a tabernero from Extremadura once offered me as a welcome. And during that trip, of course, I also fell in love with a Spaniard. We met in Madrid, the city where lunch is at 3pm and dinner is at midnight. A few months later we both moved to Barcelona, so we could be close to the Mediterranean, eat fresh seafood and vegetables year-round. A few year later, a Ph.D. in Humanities as well as culinary training allowed me to teach American students abroad about Spanish literature, culture and, yes, food!