At the risk of being hunted down, I am sharing Catalonian chef Joan Marce Gonzalez secret to perfecting a paella – Catalonian style. Note to all chefs – you can’t expect to share your secrets with a bunch of travel bloggers and have them kept as secrets. Or secrets about Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Better make that any secret. Travel bloggers are notoriously bad secret keepers. But I digress. Back to Joan Marce Gonzalez. He is also the same chef that also prepared our calcots at our Catalonian Gastronomical Event.
Surprisingly, the secret doesn’t lie with the ingredients. There were no secret ingredients, or at least ones that our Catalonian chef was willing to share with us. A good chef is entitled to keep a few secrets. Safe from the prying eyes of a group of hungry travel bloggers.
But it starts with the rice. The secret to Catalonian style paella is that once you pour the rice in you don’t stir -not even once! You will want to cook it a moderate temperature to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, so be patient. A perfect paella is not to be rushed!
Everything else gets placed on top of the rice – without mixing it all together. Perhaps this is where my paellas have gone wrong – too much stirring, at too high heat.
Voila! This is what your paella should look like which fed a group of around 10. It is ideally complemented by locally grown Catalonian MF Wines. And of course a spectacular location like this luxury villa in the charming village of Besalu doesn’t hurt either.
Thank you to Joan Marce Gonzalez for sharing his secrets and to Charming Villas for hosting our paella.