Posts Tagged ‘Paella cooking classes in Nashville’

My Paella Travels to Savory Spice Shop located in Historic Downtown Franklin, TN for a Paella and Tapas Party!

I love paella! Paella is my passion. Let me share my paella with you!


Teaching the art of cooking paella has been a skill that I have been cultivating for many years. From the time when I first moved to Nashville in 1989 (wow) and then when  I lived in Austin, Texas, I cooked paella for many friends and hosted a paella dinner at a near by olive oil farm. Paella is one of Spain’s most popular dishes. This art has been perfected for centuries in Spain from the workers in the rice fields of Valencia to today’s tables all around the world.

It’s pretty magical what you can do with rice, olive oil, saffron, sausage and seafood. My paellas are filled with layers of amazing flavors, aromas, textures and enhanced with local ingredients. I often refer to my paella as a symphony of flavors that will make you swoon and come back for more. Together with my unique fusions of local flavors combined with the many years of traditions of authentic Spanish ingredients and techniques, you’ll not find another paella that matches mine anywhere around Nashville.

My Paella Travelled to Savory Spice Shop in Franklin, Tennessee for a Paella Cooking Class this June 2016. I cooked a paella mixta from scratch to a sold out crowd. Paella mixta is a flavorful combination of mussels, shrimp, chicken, chorizo and other sausages. My signature marinated chicken, green beans, zucchini, squash and other summer vegetables filled the paella pan to the brim.  While I was cooking and demonstrating, the class enjoyed Tapas and refreshing white Sangria made with Walker’s Feed Co White Sangria mix. SOOOO refreshing!

This is the second Paella Class that I have hosted at Savory Spice Shop in Franklin, Tennessee. I especially love hosting paella classes here  because of the lovely guests that show up and the authentic spices that are available for my paella. Every single spice and seasoning was available and truly was the key to the #bestpaellainnashville @mypaellatravels.

Enjoy the photos from Saturday night’s cooking class. WARNING! PREPARE FOR HUNGER!


photo of someone taking a photo of the cooking paella by @laylamays


Hollie Rollins, owner of Savory Spice Shop and My Paella Travels (Lisa Mays) are about to serve the finished product!



This was a lovely group of paella enthusiasts! I just loved interacting with each person!


Paella cooking instructions



My paellas are as intensely colorful as flavorful, just try it and see!


The class took many photos that night!



Paella presentation is very important! This is a 32 inch paella pan filled to the brim with succulent rice, seafood, chicken and sausage which took two strong men to carry in!


The tapas boards included seasoned marcona almonds, a variety of Spanish cheeses and meats and my speciality seasoned and smoked olives. And, the dessert, oh my! Hollie’s special recipe for flan! This was her mother’s recipe and it is fabulous!


There were lots of smiles and happiness Saturday night. I think they really enjoyed the paella!

Paella Collage





06 2016

Nashville’s University School (USN) Evening Class Celebrates An Evening in Spain with a Paella Valenciana and Tapas Party!

As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for cooking and eating paella. My Sicilian and North Delta Louisiana Heritage mixed with a touch of Cajun has inspired me to create an authentic paella with a Southern twist to share with friends and family. There are many varieties of paella and I encourage you to try recipes from different regions of Spain and pair with the many beautiful Spanish wines available to us today.

The University School of Nashville Evening Classes become available to sign up in yearly in December. This past Spring, I conducted two Paella Events for about 25 guests each at a home hosted by a USN family.


The Seafood, Chicken and Sausage Paella is always a hit for gatherings of all types! No one can resist the vibrantly colored and flavored paella with the crusty socarrat that has formed on the bottom of the pan.
USNPicMonkey Collage


Paella Valenciana or Paella Mixta with Seafood,Chicken and Sausaage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Mixed Seafood, Chorizo, Pork and Chicken Paella Paella is considered the signature dish from Spain.
  • 2 to 3 dozen mussels, cleaned and tightly closed
  • 12- 15 small clams, cleaned and tightly closed
  • About 5-1/2 cups Broth such as chicken, clam or fish
  • Olive oil, 6 to 8 T
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ t dried thyme and marjoram
  • 2 t Spanish smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, charred over fire, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups Bomba Rice (Valencia Rice)
  • chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges
  • salt/pepper
  • ¼ t saffron threads
  • ¼ lb cleaned squid and tentacles, tubes sliced into rings
  • ½ lb monkfish, grouper or other firm-fleshed fish, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb large shrimp, Southern Shrimp from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Texas
  • 4 to 6 chicken thighs
  • 4 to 6 chicken legs
  • ***Season chicken all over with olive oil, smoked paprika,garlic seasoning, lemon pepper
  • Bake in oven for 35 min at 375 degrees until crispy and done, Reserve for paella
  • (If you are adventurous, 2-1/2 lb rabbit, cut into pieces)
  • 4 links Chorizo, Fresh Mexican style or ¼ lb hard Spanish style or a combination of both
  • ¼ lb Local Smoked Ham or pork loin, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, diced *Best during the summer months with the freshest and tastiest produce
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sofrito: 1 can of roasted tomatoes + sautéed onions and garlic
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas, 2 cups sliced green beans, garbanzos or big lima beans
  • Parsley, chopped
  1. Cook the chorizo. Remove from pan, cool and then slice, setting aside to add later.
  2. Remove some of the chorizo oil and add 6 T of olive oil.
  3. Cook onions and garlic over medium heat in the paella pan, adding the garlic after the onions have been cooking for a few minutes to keep garlic from burning.
  4. Add the rice to the onions and garlic and coat well.
  5. Crumble the saffron with your fingers into the rice.
  6. Add about half the broth and sofrito or tomatoes and bring to slow simmer.
  7. As the rice is absorbing, add broth as needed.
  8. Continue cooking the rice until just before al dente, begin arranging the cooked chicken, sausage, mussels and clams over the rice, pushing the shellfish gently into the rice, adding lemon juice at this point.
  9. Tent with foil for a few minutes, which helps the shellfish begin to open.
  10. Arrange and push shrimp around the pan and add the squid.
  11. Tent again until all seafood is done and most of the broth is absorbed.
  12. Garnish with peas, parsley, roasted red pepper slices, and lemon slices.
  13. ~Serve~
  14. *To form the Soccarat: once all of the ingredients had been arranged, do not stir anymore
  15. *Sofrito: there are many recipes available, but simply adding sautéed onions, garlic to the tomatoes
  16. Use 15" to 17" Paella Pan

All of the guests enjoyed the tapas while the paella was cooking. The tapas included warm and gooey Manchego and Serrano Ham Croquettes with Smokey Aioli,Piquillo Peppers stuffed with potatoes and crabmeat, and a selection of Spanish Cheeses and Marcona Almonds .

ManchegoPicMonkey Collage


TapasPicMonkey Collage

GuestsPicMonkey Collage

For dessert, the Chocolate Très Leche Cake was a great way to end this Spanish meal. If you want to know more about USN’s Evening Classes, check out the website.




03 2014

Two Ways to Get Your “Paella-Fix” with Lisa Mays at the Nashville Farmer’s Market April 5th and Natchez Hills Winery May 4th 2014!

You have two opportunities to learn the art of cooking Spanish Paella with Lisa of “My Paella Travels”!


Event #1 
Paella with Lisa Mays at the Nashville Farmer’s Market Saturday, April 5th at 5pm!

Join Lisa Mays in an evening of learning how to cook and enjoy paella. Paella’s origin is from Valencia where peasants working in the fields filled their paella pans with food from the Mediterranean coast as well as the fields to nourish themselves in a communal style while at work.  This class will include light tapas, paella and refreshments.

Reservations are required and space is limited.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

5:00pm to 7:00p.

$45 per person


 Event #2

Natchez Hill Vineyards Sunday, May 4th Paella Party!

Tickets are already selling for our May 4th Paella Party! Have great conversations and relax with new friends and neighbors. This perfect pairing brings out the best in food, wine and friends! Make sure and get your tickets today, seating is limited! Just go to or you can call (931)285-2500 to purchase your tickets!





03 2014