Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seafood Paella Workshop

About a month ago I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen and it was one of those moments where you feel like you've know someone much longer than you actually have. Her passion for Spanish food is contagious and I knew instantly that we would be pals.  

Carmen created her company, Espanolita Foods, with the hope of bringing authentic Spanish food and culture to Los Angeles. She spends her weekends cooking paella and selling assorted Spanish delicacies at local Farmer's markets and now her products are going even more mainstream because of her new partnership with Amazon Fresh (look for her in the local vendor section very soon).  


Over this past weekend, I attended one of Carmen's Paella workshops at her beautiful home in Studio City where she resides with her husband and beautiful 3 year old daughter, Olivia. When I arrived Carmen was waiting with a pitcher of Sangria. Perfect. Once we found our way to our cooking stations the class began. 

First, Carmen spent some time discussing the overall process: the art of making stocks and broths and which rices are acceptable when making paella, etc.  Then she guided us along as we made our own seafood paellas. I found the layering process to be relaxing and almost therapeutic in a way that only cooking can be, with a wooden spoon in one hand and a glass of sangria in the other. 

Pan Seared Gambas 


While the paella was resting, Carmen poured glasses of chilled verdejo and passed out shooters of her homemade gazpacho along with other tapas like manchego, marconas, olives, and dried apricots.

Next, we all sat down at a beautiful table on her outdoor patio and enjoyed a meal together. 
She sent each of us home with muslin bags of Spanish rice and spices. It was a really fabulous afternoon and I just can't recommend her workshops enough. Her style is accessible and she breaks everything down so that it is easy to absorb and understand, even if you are a beginner in the kitchen. 

Thank you for everything Carmen!! 

1 comment:

  1. It was such a pleasure to have you! I love your energy!!!
    and more to come soon