Eric Gil junto a su equipo. /EPDA
Valencian paella

France wins the 2022 World Paella Day Cup

Eric Gil with his crew.  /EPDA
Eric Gil with his crew. /EPDA

Marina de València today hosted the semi-finals and final of the World Cup of Paella 2022, where 10 chefs from around the world competed to win the coveted trophy. Finally, the winner of the paella competition was Eric Gil from France. Argentina, represented by Chef Juani Kittlen, took the second place and Finland with Jaani Pasikoski in the paellero cuisine took the third place.

Sandra Gómez, deputy mayor of València, Valencia City Council Councilor for Tourism and Internationalization and Emiliano García, President of Visit València, and Francesc Colomer, Regional Secretary for Tourism, were present at the event, among other officials. Also Santos Ruíz of València Rice DO, Toni Montoliu, owner and chef of Toni Montoliu’s Barraca; Les Bairetes chef Rafa Margós is Chabe Soler, winner of the WPD Cup 2020, where the finalists shared an intense training process in paella culture.

Sandra Gómez, deputy mayor of Valencia, said, “On September 20, Valencian men and women are accepting different paella recipes for a day. Because the important thing is to share what unites Valencia with the rest of the world, our food is more international. . A dish that is much more than a recipe : a ritual, a way to share with family and friends. Few dishes are so recognized and loved”. Paella allows us to reflect on our food, value our rice and the great pantry of the city of Valencia: a vegetable garden, a Mediterranean, has also positioned us as the World Capital of Sustainable Food.

Francesc Colomer, regional secretary for tourism, noted that World Paella Day “was born as an idea with a long history and international projection” and that Turespaña acknowledges “the tremendous vision that València has” by developing many activities around it in parallel. To promote World Paella Day.”

Emiliano García, Member of the Council for Tourism and Internationalization, said, “September 20 is a day when Valencians are proud of their most traditional gastronomy. Paella is the most Valencian way to get close and share.” to project this into the world. Every time you eat paella, we want you to share “komboi”, friendship, family and above all good Valencian rice and good local products”.

The jury of this international paella competition is Belen Arias, president of the Valencia Community Gastronomy Academy, 2nd prize winner of the Sueca Valencia International Paella Competition Binhui Jiang, chef and II. The winner of World Paella Day consists of Noelia Pascual. José Luis García Berlanga, owner of the Cup, Berlanga restaurant, and Modesto Granados, designer of the Delicious Valencia brand.

The day started at 10:00 am with matches pitting Ecuador against Finland, France against Italy, Argentina against Mexico, Switzerland against Canada and Japan against the United Arab Emirates. Thus, France’s Eric Gil, Finland’s Jaani Pasikoski, Canada’s Javier Blanc, Argentina’s Juani Klitten and United Arab Emirates’ Piedade Fernandes joined the final, which started at 12:00 noon. Finally, it was Frenchman Eric Gil who chose to compete with duck confit and mushroom paella.

In this third edition of World Paella Day, new versions of very interesting rice have appeared, some of which are inspired by different countries of origin. Japan is an example, with Chinese crab, scallions, and nettle. Also from Finland, made with reindeer, buns, onions, tomatoes and blueberries.

World Paella Day is an initiative supported by Valencia City Council through Visit València, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana, Diputación de València, Turisme València and Turespaña. The initiative has the collaboration of FEHV, Arros de València DO, Wikipaella and Sueca’s Valencian Paella International Competition.

World Paella Day Cup Stage, a journey in the cradle of paella

This year’s issue is full of innovations. Spain continued to host the event, which will take 10 finalists to experience the World Paella Day Cup Stage. From September 16-19, chefs visit different highlights for the world of paellero. They toured Albufera with Santos Ruíz from DO Rice of València to learn about the different rice varieties. They also visited the garden and shed of Toni Montoliu, the chef and owner of Barraca de Toni Montoliu, to learn about the zero kilometer product that makes up the traditional recipe. This itinerary did not lack advice and tips for cooking Valencian paella from Chabe Soler, winner of the 2020 WPD Cup, as well as master classes where les Bairetes chef Rafa Margós taught them how to use firewood.

This has undoubtedly been a journey in the cradle of paella where chefs and cooks experience Valencian cuisine first hand. Support for producers and farmers along with the commitment to the zero kilometer product necessary to continue to bring the most international Valencian food to any corner of the world.

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