It had been advertised for weeks. A Paella Fest of perhaps 100 chefs and 100 different kinds of paella. The first of its kind here in San Miguel. I had no preconceived notions about the afternoon but doubted it would be as fabulous as it turned out to be!
It was held at the Real de Minas Hotel. The hotel is lucky to have tree shaded property adjacent to the hotel where the Chili Cookoff happens every January and now this event. The hotel and the participants definitely worked diligently to provide all that anyone could ask for in a food event.......and more.
First of all they had the place to buy your ticket, register and get your plate and fork. Lots of people to help you and greet you. From the very beginning I was impressed.
Here's a photo of a couple of friends that I attended with along with my son John who loves "all you can eat" events. I of course, want the fork for outdoor art in the garden. Just kidding.
The paellas were exquisite looking. Amazingly, no two seemed to be alike. Beautifully executed and absolutely delicious. There were so many chefs and paellas that there were never lines to wait in for food or drink.
Chefs came from the state of Veracruz, the city of Puebla, and many other locations. What a surprise.
Making paella is about as complicated, to me anyway, as making mole. It is a LOT of prep and work. It was worth it for all of us that were there to sample.
Here are a group of culinary students from a school in the State of Queretaro. Another booth was a culilnary school in Michoacan!
In addition to great food, good wine and drink there was all kinds of delightful music along with flamenco dancers. Tables were set up all over the grounds. Some under the big shade trees. A perfect place for sampling, listening to music, drinking and enjoying visiting with friends.
The people there were a complete mixture of Mexicans and gringoes. Couples young and old. Singles mingling. Babies playing. They even had all kinds of play areas set up for the children.
It was obvious that the hotel management had thought of everything. I didn't see a glitch anywhere. By my estimate I think, in the four hours we were there, we saw about 500 people. But it never felt crowded.
The best part of all was that the event benefitted the Santa Julia Girl's Orphanage. The thirty-five little girls were there having a great time also.
Put it on your calendar for next year. Hopefully this will become an annual affair. I'm so glad I was there to participate.