The Pacific region's best paella chefs will be heading to Queen Victoria Market for the 57th Concurs International Paella Competition's Pacific Semi-Final on Sunday April 23. Happening as part of the Spanish Paella Festival, the event will be heaven for fans of the hearty Spanish rice dish.
For the uninitiated, the competition is probably the biggest paella contest in the world, attracting competitors outside Spain from Costa Rica, USA, Japan, France and Pacific region including Australia. Each region puts on their own semi-final event and the top three competitors from the regions then go on to compete in the final round in Spain. The winning paella will take home the Best Paella Outside Spain award (or, en español, the Premi a la Millor Paella).
Last year's winner Simply Spanish will host the Pacific Semi-Final this year and chef Leno Lattarullo will judge the competition, which will see around 20 paella chefs compete to make the best dish. On the day, the participating chefs will be given one hour to race through Queen Victoria Market to get their ingredients and cook the best paella.
So what makes a winning paella? Lattarullo says an "authentic Valencian paella uses rabbit, chicken and beans. And on no accounts should you stir, the rice should stick to the pan to create a delicious caramelised flavour."
The International Paella Competition takes place on April 23 from 11am-4pm at Queen Victoria Market. To enter the competition or for more information, head to the official competition website.