I am so excited!!! I have been invited to San Antonio, Texas next Sunday! The city is having the 8th Paella Challenge and I will have the honor to be part of the judging team this year.
Chef Johnny Hernandez, San Antonio’s city ambassador and owner of La Gloria, The Frutería, El Machito and Casa Hernan, is the creator behind this fun competition that has been able to donate more than $350,000 for education programs for the CIA (Culinary Institute of the America) in San Antonio, putting together community, corporations and chefs from different nationalities.
Mission County Park, a World Heritage, will be the official “kitchen stage" of this flavorful event that brings together more than 40 chefs from all over the US, Spain, and Mexico.
About 25 students from five culinary high schools programs, compete for a trip to the Culinary Institute of America in New York. More than 30 chefs from the US and México will compete for the most contemporary paella award. “There are as many versions of paella as cooks. In addition to the authentic Valencian paella, we are going to see from rabbit and snails to paella in sushi and desserts." Part of the experience is to taste other styles, "said chef Hernández, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio.
Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois from NY, Chef Jhojans Priego Zarate from Mexico, Chef Ignacio Gil from Spain and Angela Moore, Digital VP of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel are just a few of others colleagues in the judging team with me. Meanwhile, attendees will enjoy Latin jazz, flamenco, and Spanish wines while they vote for their favorite paella to choose the People's Choice Award.
Proceeds will go to Kitchen Campus, a non-profit organization that connects young students with culinary opportunities through education and advocacy.