Simple, hearty and almost always mouth-wateringly delicious, paella is our kind of food. And thankfully this humble dish seems to finally be getting the attention that it deserves, with restaurants around the world now cooking up both classic and off-the-wall takes on this rice-and-meat-based meal. In fact, foodies are going so crazy for paella that March 27 has been dubbed International Paella Day, an opportunity to celebrate what is now unofficially accepted as the national dish of Spain. To get the lowdown on paella, we caught up with Willy Trullas Moreno, the chef behind FoFo el Willy in Central and the newly opened La Paloma in Sai Ying Pun, who has also been named as one of the top 100 influential Spaniards outside of Spain.
Share with us three of your favourite restaurants around the world for paella.
I really enjoyed the Paella in these 3 restaurants:
"L´Establiment" in L´Albufera de Valencia, where they make it the traditional way with wood fire.
"Suquet de l´almirall" in Barcelona makes some of the best seafood paellas you can have in the city.
And there's great traditional Valencia Paella in China, at a restaurant owned by a Spanish Chef called "Niajo" in Beijing.
What's special about the paella at La Paloma?
I think what makes a very special the Paella in La Paloma is that as our executive chef, Vito Chiavacci, is from Valencia; he makes a very traditional recipe of the countryside paella using chicken, green beans, saffron etc. This is the real authentic rustic style, which is commonly enjoyed in Spain.
What do you look for in a good paella?
The taste is the most important as always, and then the texture of the rice must be at the right cooking point. It should be a little bit hard but not too much. Also an important part is that the bottom of the paella should be slightly burnt and this is called socarrat, which gives it a great taste and crispy texture.