IN a culinary showdown Malaga has claimed the title for the best paella in Spain.
According to the 62nd edition of the International Valencian Paella Contest, in which 45 chefs from 16 countries participated, the prestigious award for the best paella cooked by a restaurant at a national level has gone to Los Reyes Restaurant, situated on Rio Cabrera Street in Malaga.
The restaurant has been serving an array of fish, meat dishes, and paellas since 1973, earning a reputation for providing an authentic gastronomic experience.
Renowned as ‘rice experts,’ their flavourful and creamy paellas are particularly noteworthy.
Heading the kitchen at this ‘Specialist in Paellas’ eatery is Chef David Garcia, who not only excels in crafting exceptional paellas but also prepares a variety of other well-known dishes, including piquillo peppers with cheese sauce, onion pie, cod in pil-pil sauce, and homemade croquettes, among others.
Additional awards and categories were presented, as in previous editions of the International Valencian Paella Contest, including the prestigious title of ‘Best Paella in the World,’ which was claimed by Sequial 20 restaurant located in Sueca, Valencia.
This award came with a €25,000 prize and a commemorative parchment, solidifying Chef, Juan Jose San Bartolome Grau, and his assistant, Daniel Jesus Vidal Ortells Ripoll, as the creators of the world’s best paella and also marked the return of the top honour to the hosting municipality after a thirteen-year hiatus.
Speaking about the achievement, Chef Juan Jose San Bartolome stated that they never prepare the same paella twice at their establishment, underlining their dedication to originality and quality in their culinary work.
Bartolome also expressed his pride in receiving the award and was pleased that it stayed within a Sueca restaurant.
The culinary showdown saw the second prize, which included a cash prize of €1,500, go to the PaellaGuys restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
Meanwhile, the Bon Aire restaurant in El Palmar, Valencia, which had previously won the competition in 2018, claimed third place and received a prize of €1,000.
Additionally, the award for the best paella prepared by a restaurant in the Valencian community went to the Paco Baile Restaurant in Santa Pola, Alicante.
The distinction for the best paella cooked by a restaurant outside of Spain was awarded to Paella loca_personal chef Sofia from Sacile, Italy.