My Paella Travels Won First Place at Casa Azafran’s Paella Cook Off Contest in Nashville, Tennessee!
Hot Chicken Paella! The winner of the popular vote at Nashville’s Casa Azafran’s Paella Cook Off!
In the fall of 2015, My Paella Travels was asked to be one of the contestants at Casa Azafran’s Paella Cook Off Contest. I was thrilled to be able to share my “fusion paella” with the crowd of paella lovers!
(Unfortunately, it was dark early and we did not have adequate lighting to take the best photos. Please check out my previous articles and photos to see just how delicious my paellas are!)
Casa Azafran Cultural Center is “both a beautiful event space and home to a collective of nonprofits who offer services in education, legal, health care and the arts to immigrants, refugees and the community as a whole.”
(I want to give credit to my amazing and talented forever-friend, Kim! I couldn’t have done it without her creativity and support.)
This cultural center is a fusion of cultures which welcomes immigrants from many countries into Nashville and offers amazing services to help those families settle into Nashville. It’s a beautiful center with many smiling and welcoming faces. I have had such fun teaching several cooking classes at the Mesa Komal Kitchen over the past few years.
My Fusion Paella
For the many years that I have created meals for friends and family, I have always enjoyed cooking with “exotic” spices and seasonings fusing my culinary culture recipes. I am a fusion of cultures.
I have Louisiana roots, with a Sicilian heritage and have been influenced culinarily early on by Southern food culture as well as Cajun/Creole and Texas-style foods. What better way to honor the fusion of cultures with my paella! My 32 inch paella pan was brimming with the usual authentic paella (mixta) ingredients including mussels, shrimp, saffron, intensely flavored sausages,brightly colored vegetables and topped with Hattie B’s Hot Chicken! It was a hit with the crowd! I explained to Mayor Megan Berry and the guests that paella is inherently a fusion of flavors and cultures and combining Nashville’s own Hot Chicken with a Spanish Paella is the ultimate in fusion food to honor the Nashville culture and Spanish culture!
I won a ticket to anywhere in the US and the status of The Best Paella voted by all of the guests-a crowd favorite! I will be flying to the California wine country this fall to the Wine Bloggers Conference!
Here is everyone who competed! We had a blast!