I had only been to Spain once, in 2010 as a young traveler in Barcelona, experiencing my first foray into a foreign world. Walking past the various cafes and tiny tucked away restaurants, it was the aromas that immediately caught my attention. They drew me and my companions into a tiny establishment with an open kitchen where an elderly chef, top shirt buttons undone and hair sprouting from his chest, was commanding his sous chefs in a gruff Catalan voice. It was my first taste of paella. It was heavenly, and unlike anything I had tasted before, and a most memorable introduction to Spanish cuisine. The next day we visited a Tapas restaurant where for two hours they kept bringing us small plate after small plate, each one a delectable surprise. I still cherish those meals where everything presented to us was an art piece. After visits to Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, the Picasso Museum, and the Prado and Reina Sofia Museums in Madrid, I came home filled with the richness of Spanish art and culture.
As a tourist, you can only take so many pictures, write so many words in your travel journal and talk endlessly about your trip with family and friends, but that simply wasn’t enough for me. I wanted somehow to capture that experience and be able to share it. Jim’s offering to tutor me in the ways and art of paella became that opportunity, and the paella you can experience with the Paella King is born from that endeavor.
As often happens with students, we seek to go beyond the wisdom imparted by our masters. I’ve made some adjustments to Jim’s original formulas and am more than proud to share that long time Paella King patrons have let us know that our latest creations are even better than before. My calendar has gotten so full I’ve had to take on another partner, my stepbrother Xander Lynde, who can share his own unique Barcelona experience with you someday.
So please, wander down these narrow cobblestone streets with us, and let us help you create your own experience to take with you. We guarantee it’ll be worth so much more than a postcard or tee shirt. As artists, we just ask that you leave impatience at the door and bring only your appetite.