My Paella Travels creates magical evenings for celebrations which will bring the signature dish of Spain to you for a casual backyard gathering that you and your guests will rave about!
My Paella Travelsbrings the heart and soul of Spain to any celebration. Paella, the most popular and well known dish of Spain, is a vibrant rice dish often cooked outdoors.
An authentic Paella Party is a great reason to celebrate with family and friends which will be centered around a large paella brimming with vibrantly tinted Bomba rice and locally sourced vegetables with succulent meats, seafoods and mouthwatering aromas of spices. My paellas are made with authentic Spanish ingredients and prepared with traditional Spanish techniques just the way they make them in Spain.
Set up is easy. I bring it all. You and your guests will enjoy the experience of watching the preparation and cooking of the paella before your eyes.
With every event, the best part of the experience is watching everyone enjoy themselves which is evident with smiles and laughter. I provide the main course, wine selections and tapas (if requested). My paellas will feed a large crowd and allows the guests to enjoy their guests while I do the cooking!
Part of what I do to help create the optimum experience is help with wine selections to pair with the paella and tapas event. For years, I have been studying wine and obtaining several certifications with the WSET and the Court of Master Sommeliers which focus on wine knowledge and pairings. Some of my favorite wines to pair are white, red and sparkling Spanish and Portuguese wines but it just begins there. Spanish foods pair very well with many wines and I would love to show how!
It takes about 45 minutes to create the paella from scratch. Guests have a chance to savor tapas and enjoy the wine selections while gathering around the paella pan. Your friends will have fun learning about the history of paella, what makes an authentic paella implementing authentic techniques and quality ingredients.
Momma Nik’s Cheesecake has paired up with My Paella Travels to create the best dessert experience ever. Momma Nik’s Cheesecakes are locally and creatively made offering a variety of flavors and sizes.
Momma Nik’s are especially great for birthday celebrations!
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.
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 oneof 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. 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! 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. 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! 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.
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. 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!
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!
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.
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 www.natchezhills.com or you can call (931)285-2500 to purchase your tickets!