Spanish paella is a traditional dish made from a mixture of seafood and saffron infused rice, cooked in a flat, round pan. Living in St. Augustine, Florida’s Spanish founded in 15 65, I am lucky to find it locally. But, when I visited the state capitol of Tallahassee, I discovered paella to beat all others. My meal from Real Paella was served on the grounds of the historic Spanish Mission San Luis.
Real Paella is not a restaurant but a catering service specializing in Spanish foods. Real means royal and this creation was certainly fit for a king or queen. Even my photo shows how stunningly gorgeous the presentation appeared.
Chef Juan Ten, a native of Valencia, Spain uses an original family recipe that’s more than 200 years old. Juan told me the secret to paella was to use the freshest seafood and vegetables and pearl rice, the highest quality olive oil (he uses only oil imported from Spain) and real saffron.
His ingredients are always all natural and fresh, no MSG, no artificial color, flavors or preservatives. The paella is also gluten free.
Choices from the catering menu include a variety of tapas, sausages, cheese, olives, salads, legumes, soups, pastas and, of course, paellas. For dessert my group enjoyed flan, another Spanish traditional treat.
Real Paella can book an event for as few as 20 people or larger parties up to 250. The paella is cooked onsite so set up begins about two and a half hours before serving time. Guests are invited to watch the preparation; it’s like attending a cooking class. Best of all, your senses are aroused by the aromatic scent of roasted garlic, spices and saffron rice.
Should you choose, Chef Juan will arrange for live Spanish musicians to include guitar strumming and flamenco music.