Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Mays Paella Chef’

My Paella Travels: Weekends Are Better with a Mixed Paella and Lodge Cast Iron Pans

Mixed Paella with Seafood and Sausage 


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Before I began cooking paella professionally, there were many weekends that I enjoyed practicing and perfecting my paella cooking skills to create the best authentic Spanish paellas around.  My friends enjoyed it too. When I moved to Nashville over 25 years ago,  I quickly found out that it was a challenge to get the ingredients and fresh seafood needed. Well, Nashville has come a long way with a burgeoning culinary scene and I now have the freshest ingredients and spices to create an authentic Spanish paella that will keep you craving for more.

Recently, Lodge Cast Iron, a product from Tennessee, sent me a paella pan and I am now creating authentic paellas with a Nashville culinary spirit. Creating any meal from local ingredients means that you will have the freshest ingredients that reflects the local culinary scene. Why not create your masterpiece from the local Tennessee product that has proven its quality and durability since 1910.

Cooking your paella is best when you have the time to leisurely cook and enjoy the experience from beginning to end, which usually takes about 45 minutes. My Lodge Carbon Steel 15 inch Paella Pan is perfect for generous portions for about 6 people. This version of My Paella Travels paella is loaded with Seared Scallops, Jumbo Shrimp, Chicken, Mussels atop tender and crusty bomba rice layered with asparagus, squash, broth, saffron and a touch of smoked paprika.

Socarrat is the crusty rice formed at the bottom of the paella pan, if the paella is cooked properly. Luckily, the Lodge Cast Iron paella pan is great at creating the most prized part of the paella.

Be sure to pop open a bottle of Cava (Spain’s bubbly wine) for a perfect weekend pairing.


08 2016

My Paella Travels Won First Place at Casa Azafran’s Battle of the Paellas Contest in Nashville, Tennessee!

 Hot Chicken Paella! The winner of the popular vote at Casa Azafran’s Battle of the Paellas 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!




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 Barry and the guests that paella is inherently a fusion of flavors and cultures and by 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! I WON the POPULAR VOTE!





06 2016

Tapas and Wine Demo Class at the Green Hills Whole Foods at Salud Cooking School with Lisa Mays Paella and Tapas Chef

Just in time for the holidays!


Wednesday, October, 1, 2014

6-8 PM

DEMO $39

Register Here



Salud cooking classes are a great venue to get some of the best recipes trending today! The beautiful open kitchen and bistro-style class room are has become popular with foodies and those looking to learn more from the best! Join me October 1st for another great Tapas Class. The tapas recipes are easy to prepare and your guests will love each and every bite!

A tapas party is an easy and wonderful way to bring your friends and family together. A few dishes prepared in advance along with Spanish delicacies such as cured meats, seafood, cheeses, olives and nuts is all you need to get the party rolling. This class focuses on Spanish, Mediterranean and Moroccan inspired tapas dishes. Lisa will be selecting the perfect wines to compliment this delicious menu. MENU: Chorizo-Stuffed Dates; Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas; Broiled Polenta Bites with Green Harissa and Feta; Miniature Pork Brochettes; Santiago Mussels and Sizzling Chile Shrimp.

Browse through the photos, sorry, they WILL make you hungry for more!

GildaPicMonkey Collage








09 2014