After bugging the folks at the 15C booth over and over again for multiple glasses of Pinot cava, I finally meandered around to get more paella. I heard from Marc Windward himself that I should go check out the Pier 46 booth as they had a chef from Madrid cooking the paella. Now how authentic is that?
Here's the master Spanish Chef, Francesco Barroso, along with his chef sidekick Jason Shorrock. These fabulous guys let Boyfriend & I hang out with them behind the scenes, watching them cook this amazing dish.
And here's the Spaniard himself, lost in his art of cooking:
Now this paella was actually black as they put squid in it, and the squid ink colored the rice black. I have to admit I was a little creeped out at first! That said, Jason talked about how the squid and other fish (including clams, prawns & even octopus) totally infused the rice with a rich seafood flavor. And boy did it ever!
Look at this gorgeous creation right before it was about to be served:
Not only were Francisco & Jason making the above fabulous dish for the public, they made a paella dish just for them & all of the folks at Pier 46. Look at this creation:
I wanted in on this dish so I started begging everyone @ Pier 46 for a job! They caught on to me and proceeded to kick me out before I devoured their private paella :) Just kidding, of course, (Well, kinda.....)
Now onto Chef Charlie! This was the first time I met this amazing man. Remember, Chef Charlie was part of the original group of generous souls who started the Pinot & Paella event 8 years ago. His catering company is in Atascadero - and he has quite the reputation! Since I'm in the wine industry, I've heard lots of folks chatting about what an amazing chef he is - so I was so excited to be able to try his fare.
Here's the man himself as we walked up upon him. He was pouring abalone into the paella dish, pound by pound. Since abalone is currently going for about $100 per pound, he was saying, "Here goes $100! Here goes another $100!" All the way up to $400 worth of abalone - wow!
Here's the dish cooking with all the abalone added on top:
Not only did Chef Charlie use abalone, he used many pounds of clams!
I mean, how much was this paella worth - $1,000? Quite possibly so. And wow - was it amazing. So flavorful with a beautiful balance of veggies, seafood and rice. Obviously this man knows what he's doing. And rightly so, since he was one of the first to launch Pinot & Paella in the first place.
A big thanks to Chef Charlie, as well as Francisco & Jason from Pier 46. I think everyone can tell from the photos what masterpieces you created for the PInot & Paella event - we all thank you!
Next blog: The amazing sustainable hero Shaun from Luna Red & more!