SPAIN’S classic dish took centre stage at Europe’s oldest, fiercest and most prestigious food competition.

The 54th International Paella Championships was the highlight of the annual 10-day rice festival held in the birthplace of paella, Sueca, Valencia.

The championship drew paella enthusiasts from across the globe, with even Australia sending a four-man team.

Named after Spanish olive oil brand Carbonell, the Australians were led by chef Miguel Cuevas from Sydney-based Spanish catering company Flavours of Spain.