Posts Tagged ‘Paella Chef in Nashville’

My Paella Travels: It’s Not Just Paella, It’s a Paella Experience! Paella Chef & Caterer | Nashville, Tennessee


Where will My Paella Travel next?

My Paellas are a unique fusion of local ingredients such as locally made sausages, locally grown produce, southern seafood and authentic Spanish flavors, techniques and ingredients. Each paella is a work of art for the eyes, palate and soul.

Paella Love

We all have that common thread of yearning for something to feed our hearts and souls. Well, my paellas do just that. My paellas bring friends, family and the community together for a feast of Paella Love.

My Paella has traveled from Tennessee to Texas, Louisiana and to Georgia feeding the souls of friends, family and the community bringing people together through a celebratory feast of life and love through a plate of paella and a glass (or two) of wine.

Will My Paella Travel to you? Have Paella Pan:Will Travel!

WOW! I have been very busy for many months now riding the “paella wave.”  So many fun adventures have come my way and I can’t wait to see what else ahead.


Paella surprise birthday parties are always a fun way to celebrate!


Having it all with Lisa on Wine Antics!                                                            

In March, I was featured on the live talk show  (CLICK TO WATCH) Wine Antics and was thrilled to talk to Jenn and Stubb (Cork Envy) about “having it all!”

My Paella Travels makes people happy! You can see it in their smiles.

My journey; my mission is to keep spreading some of that awesome Paella Love from east to west, north to south and everywhere in between.

My Paella Travelled to Macon, Georgia at Travis Jean’s Cooking School and Event Center and fed over 50 hungry paella lovers 4 paellas: Paella Mixta with both seafood, chicken and sausage, Vegetarian Paella, Texas-Louisiana Style Paella with Andouille Sausage and Smoked Brisket and a Black Paella filled to the brim with seafood and colorful vegetables. Go big or go home! Only 32 and 36 inch paella pans allowed here!

Dueling with Chef Kevin and my 36 inch bad boy paella pan!

Over 50 guests wined and dined with My Paella Travels.

Thanks to Chef Kevin, I got to meet so many amazing people in Macon, Georgia who I now call my friends.

One of the stars of the event is my famous Paella Mixta which is loaded with seafood, sausage, shrimp, chicken and house made chicken saffron broth.

Sharing the paella experience with Scott and Bill was the best! LOVE YOU BOTH!

Even vegetarians love my paellas!

Seafood Paella made with Black Cuttlefish ink!

I channelled my Louisiana and Texas “culinary roots” with a Texas-style Smoked Brisket and Andouille Sausage Paella in Macon, Georgia.

In 2015, I won a local Paella Cook Off with my Gourmet Fusion Paella at Casa Azafran! It was a crowd-pleaser!  My winning paella was a Spanish Paella with Nashville Hot Chicken!

I love sharing my paella skills with Paella Cooking Classes at Savory Spice Shop in Franklin.

I enjoy hosting a Spanish wine and Paella Pairing at a local wine shop. My paella’s are works of art!

I host a paella cooking event every year for the University School Evening Class Events. This was a seafood paella made with Spanish fideua noodles instead of rice complete with tapas for a sold out class on Valentine’s night! This seafood paella originated from the fishing villages of Spain and there is nothing like rich flavored noodles with a crispy bottom crust.

Germantown Art Festival Paella

My Paella Travels: Austin, Texas. Bringing some of that Paella Love to my awesome Texas friends. Praise Paella!

I love to have a backyard paella dinner on a warm Sunday spring evening.

Surprise Birthday Party in East Nashville!

This will be the 3rd year that I’ll be cooking My Paella Love at the  2017 Nashville Wine and Food Festival! Stop by my table and experience the love!

In March 2017, I was asked to create and cater tapas for the USN (University School of Nashville) Spanish Wine and Tapas Pairing Fund Raising Event. This last yet biggest event of the series of yearly evening classes. There were around 80 guests, I worked by *** off and loved every single second. I cook big, live big and love big. Yep, that’s me. My Paella Travels Paella and Tapas Catering.

My famous Spanish Romesco Sauce (which everyone loves!) topped the charcoal grilled gulf shrimp and local Spanish Chorizo. This was a hit.

Here’s my take on traditional Spanish Meatballs, with a hint of Moroccan Spices, yet another hit!

Spanish cheese, meats, crispy seasoned bread and lots more.

Everyone loved my roasted heirloom tomatoes with eggplant and zucchini with Spanish spices.


Just sharing some of that Paella Love……


04 2017

Cook and Wine With Lisa Mays at Casa Azafran Community Center in Nashville

Lisa Mays will teach a variety of Wine Education classes and hands-on cooking classes at vibrant Casa Azafran in 2015!

Paella Class in December: We will end the year with a Christmas-inspired Paella Class! Details soon!


Casa Azafrán is a beautiful event space that offers not only offer services in education, legal, health care and the arts to immigrants, refugees, but also offers hands on cooking classes and instruction of global cuisine. You will get a passport to  enjoy a culinary trip “around the world” with some of the most diverse cooking classes in Nashville.

Each cooking class at Casa Azafran is a true and unique culinary event along with beautiful settings and music from each culture to enhance the whole experience.

The state of art professional kitchen is a perfect place to teach hands-on classes and the gorgeous patio and dining area is the right setting to create a fun and enjoyable dining experience.



In 2015, I will begin teaching monthly hands-on cooking classes as well as wine education classes from wine all around the world!

Hands-on cooking classes with Lisa Mays!

My diverse background This crazy, wonderful mixture of Sicilian, Louisiana Cajun and Mississippi Delta taught me to live my life out loud.  My love for food and wine has been an integral part of my life from the beginning. I am thrilled to be able to share my expression of culturally diverse cuisine that is a part of my life and heritage.

I will be teaching many globally-inspired cuisines!

I will be teaching Rustic Italian, Cajun, Creole, Greek, Moroccan, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired dishes, I will also teach paella classes of all types of paella:  Paella Negro, Seafoods, Roasted Meats, Vegetable and Rabbit Paella as well as many paellas inspired by local ingredients.

Low Carb and Delicious: Get Creative!  Gourmet and Bistro Cuisine all based on my low-carb recipes.You will dine in style and never miss the carb!

Wine with Lisa–Wine Education classes with me!

I am passionate about wine and holds the WSET III Advanced Certificate (Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London) as well as student of wine. Currently, I am the Vice President of the newly formed Nashville Wine Guild and will soon pursue  the sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers with rigorous on-going studies to continue gaining knowledge about the world’s wine producing regions, elements of wine service, and several tasting expertise.

Christmas-inspired Paella Class! in December

You will enjoy an Authentic Spanish Paella hands-on cooking  inspired by the holiday season!

As soon as I have the firm date, I will post it here! This will be an ultimate expression of the most vibrant and well-known dishes of Spain!


09 2014

Wine with Lisa Hosts a Paella Party! The Hit of the Summer! Enjoy the Art of Cooking Spanish Paella with Lisa!

I have been sharing my passion and the art of cooking Spanish Paella with friends and family for over 20 years!


My Paella will travel to you!

 The “Culinary Performance Chef of Paella”

On any given weekend, you will find me with my very large paella pan and paella burner in someone’s backyard for a casual dinner under the moonlight for an evening of Spanish paella, tapas and wine. Lately, I’ve been hosting Paella Parties around the Nashville area. I show up with all of the ingredients ready to create one of the most authentic and delectable paellas around. Paella equals “instant party.” A paella is a communal dish meant to be shared with friends, family and celebrations. I bring that to the party!

What is Paella?

Paella is the most popular and well known dish of Spain. It is a vibrant rice dish often cooked outdoors over an open flame. The passion and spirit of Spain are reflected in its food. My paellas ingredients include Gulf shrimp, mussels, Southern clams, fresh fish, chicken, locally-sourced smoked chorizo sausage and vegetables with a rich homemade broth bursting with rich, complex flavors  There are so many different recipes for paellas that I can’t count.  Although my Paella Mixta (a mix of seafood, chicken, sausage) is the most popular, I also “custom make” just seafood, meat or even vegetarian paellas. My paella can be created to suit everyone’s palate. paella

Paella Passion

 There is something so passionate about paella; at least it’s that way for me. I am from Louisiana and of Sicilian decent by the way of the North Delta of Louisiana and Mississippi. We are referred to as the Delta Italians. My culinary skills were directly influenced  from New Orleans’ Cajun and Creole as well as the Sicilian Italian family I grew up in. I have always had the knack and passion for cooking and paella is just one of the ways I express it; Just wait until you experience it and you’ll see why I’m so passionate about the art of paella!

Paella and Jambalaya are cousins

That’s right! The Spanish explorers brought paella to Louisiana. Instead of the precious and pricey saffron, tomatoes add the color and crawfish and andouille make the signature Cajun jambalaya. 10390438_10202192090555071_4802122087320036037_n The original paellas were cooked and eaten from the paella pan out of necessity in the rice fields of Spain by the peasant farm-workers. Paellas are made with seafood if near the coastal waters or rabbit and snails if inland. Bomba rice, the special paella rice of Spain, is grown only in Spain and is an essential part of what makes an authentic paella. Some paellas are not made with rice but with thin noodles. This is a Catalan Fideuà, made with fideo (Spanish noodles). At the most recent gathering, this is what I made. It was devoured by all! 10616200_10202219415758184_7390739496721215551_n For a couple of years, I have hosted Paella Dinners at Natchez Hills Winery. What a beautiful location right outside of Nashville to enjoy the cool breeze, wines made at Natchez Hills Winery and Vineyard paired with a rich, vibrant paella. NatchezWineryPicMonkey Collage Salud Cooking School at Whole Foods in Green Hills has been another way I have been able to share my passion for paella. I teach classes on paella, tapas and cajun cuisine! As long as I have a cooking surface large enough to accommodate my pan, we are in business! WholeFoodsPaellaPicMonkey Collage Backyard Paella Parties with My Paella Travels have become very popular this summer. While I’m preparing the paella, guests enjoy the Spanish Tapas I’ve prepared, sip on wines that I have chosen and usually gather around the pan watching the performance. I have fun talking about the history of paella with guests and they always have great questions. PanPicMonkey Collage


My Spanish Tapas is always a hit! Usually, I’ll have a variety of Spanish cheeses, Marcona almonds with my “special” seasonings and my own recipe of marinated olives. My grilled bread always seems to be a crowd pleaser as well as the Croquetas filled with warm and gooey Manchego cheese and Serrano ham with Smoked Paprika aioli. CroquetasPicMonkey Collage   TapasMorePicMonkey Collage Smokey bacon wrapped around chorizo-filled dates baked with a Smokey Romesco sauce and tomatoes until it’s bubbly, is another one of my popular tapas recipes. And what about those Seared Lamb Chops with Curry Aioli? My absolute favorite dish! WinepairingPicMonkey Collage

My friends, David and Sarah know how to throw a party for Labor Day weekend! Paella is an instant party for a gathering of friends. While I made the paella, we all enjoyed the Sangria.




This vibrant and intensely flavored paella was the hit of the party! The shrimp were succulent and the chicken and sausage were the perfect additions to this amazing dish! And, everyone enjoyed every bite of the crispy, caramelized crust of rice called the socarrat.



Two sold-out Paella classes were the hit of the USN evening events! I was able to cook this one on the large indoor range for 25 hungry guest!


My paella will travel to you, too!

Save room for a bite (or two) of homemade Chocolate Treś Leches Cake! This creation is one of my favorite desserts ever, especially after a big plate of Paella!



08 2014