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 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.
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.
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!