Flavors Of The Philippines: The Paella Cook Off at SM City Bacolod

Chef Natalio David Lopez from Spain shows off a large paellera of Paella Negra.

We had a taste of Spain at the Flavors of The Philippines: The Paella Cook Off at SM City Bacolod yesterday, April 19, 2015. It was headlined by by Chef Natalio David Lopez, the man behind the restaurant and tapas bars TXACHO and Kome Kome at the Art District and Chef Uwe Markowsky, chief master instructor at the Bacolod Culinary Academy (BACA).

Chef Uwe, who is from Germany, did the Paella Valenciana, which is “believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (chicken and rabbit), white beans, and seasoning such as saffron, rose and occasionally lemon. The chef did everything on stage, including the sauteing of ingredients and the boiling of the rice.

On the other hand, Chef David, who hails from Spain, did the Paella Negra, a variant of this Spanish dish that might as well be considered the national dish because of its popularity. They call this “negra” because of its color–the rice has been turned black because it was cooked in squid ink and broth.

Chef Uwe Markowsky from Germany with his student assistant Lance while their Paella Valenciana is still cooking.

Chef Uwe used basmati rice for the valenciana while Chef David used boba rice. The ratio of broth in order to cook rice is 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid. It should be boiling when added into the rice.

Two paelleras of Paella Valenciana on the stove.

While Chef Uwe did everything on stage, Chef David showed the audience how the paella negra is done in a small paellera that is good for only two people. However, he has pre-cooked a very large one that was distributed to the audience.

Chef Uwe tells the audience about the ingredients to their version of the Paella Valenciana.

The Paella cook off was well-attended by cooking enthusiasts and media personalities in Bacolod, including bloggers. It was a really fun and inspiring time for everyone present. Now, I am getting ideas for my own versions!

Chef Uwe while cooking.
Chef David demonstrates how Paella Negra is done.
Cooking tip: Chef David says that while the Paella Negra is cooking, you do not mix it so that the “film” on top is not broken. This seals in the flavors.
The handsome audience get to taste the paella prepared.
Members of the Negrense Blogging Society with Chef Natalio David Lopez.

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