On September 20th, twelve international chefs will compete for the trophy for the best paella in the world. To do this, they will travel to Valencia in September to experience a unique paella culture experience on the World Paella Day Stage. For the first time, a German chef is among the finalists.
The countdown to the fourth edition of the World Paella Day CUP is on, because today the list of finalists who compete for the trophy of the best international paella chef was announced. The winner will be announced on September 20th, International Paella Day, the day that honors and recognizes the most international dish in Valencian gastronomy. In this edition, twelve finalists from Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, India and Japan will attempt to emulate Eric Gil, French chef and last year’s winner.
Paella delights five continents
Spain will be hosting again this year and will not take part in the competition for the second year in a row. In this fourth edition, a total of 60 chefs from 30 different countries – from Peru and Argentina to Korea and New Zealand – applied to take part in the final and received a total of almost 60,000 votes. In addition to the votes, the organizers also took into account the efforts of the applicants to gain media and social media coverage when selecting the finalists.
For the first time a finalist from Germany: Mario Furlanello
The selection was so difficult that it was decided to increase the number of finalists to twelve. Europe will be represented by Mario Furlanello from Germany, Cordoba Grégory from France, Luca Zanetti from Italy, Adrian Stojewski from Poland and Rodica Placinta from Romania. With Mario Furlanello there is a finalist from Germany for the first time. The owner and chef de cuisine of the Bornheimer Ratskeller in Frankfurt already impressed at the paella competition in Sueca last year and secured third place there.
From America, Raúl Cob Ferrer of the United States, Carlos Salvador Leal Martínez of Mexico, Cristian Raúl Arroba Ríos of Ecuador and Arturo Bedregal of Colombia will attempt to win the trophy. Africa will have one representative, Mohamed El Jaouhari from Morocco, while Asia will be represented by Shipra Khanna from India and Kohei Hatashita from Japan.
World Paella Day Stage, a journey through paella traditions
The twelve finalists will have the opportunity to have a unique experience of paella culture at the World Paella Day Stage from September 16th to 19th. A journey through the history, flavors and traditions of Valencian gastronomy, accompanied by producers and experienced paella chefs – a great opportunity to learn from the professionals before the competition in the birthplace of paella. The four experts this year are the champions Chabe Soler (2020) and Noelia Pascual (2021), as well as Rafa Margós, chef of the Las Bairetas restaurant, and Santos Ruiz, manager of the DO Arroz de València.
The finalists will – in addition to four master classes with their paella experts – get to know Valencia and the Albufera Natural Park, enjoy a wine tasting with wines from the DO Valencia and take part in a paella competition of the vendors of the municipal markets. New this year: you will also visit the Costa Blanca – the new Carmencita factory, which is just celebrating its centenary, Elche (where you will visit the Cachito de Noelia Pascual restaurant) and Dénia (designated Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO).
Valencia: capital of gastronomy
On September 20th, excitement will be renewed in Valencia with the competition that will highlight the most international dish and the recognition of Valencian gastronomy. Then the capital of Turia will once again become an international gastronomic reference and another milestone will be reached. For example, Valencia hosted the last edition of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants or the Michelin Gala Spain and Portugal 2022. The World Paella Day CUP will once again underline Valencia’s ability to organize large events and highlight the quality and excellence of local products.
World Paella Day is an initiative promoted by the public administrations: the Municipality of Valencia (through Visit Valencia), the Tourist Office of the Province of Valencia, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana and Turespaña in collaboration with the DO Arroz de València, the Gastronomic Union of Valencia, Wikipaella and the Concurso de Paella Valenciana de Sueca (Sueca Paella Contest).