Juan Kittlein Argentinian, born and lives in Miramarand this week he traveled to Spain to compete as one of the ten chefs selected to enter the competition. World Paella Day In the city of Valencia, this is the cradle of food.
In the said tournament, which ended on September 20, International Paella Day Representing our country, Kittlein achieved a prestigious second place only behind champion France. Still on Spanish soil, he spoke to Kittlein PEOPLE about this wonderful experience and also gave her best advice for prepare a good paella, It’s even cheaper than commonly thought.
“It was amazing, not just because of the competition”, 35-year-old chef working at Miramar restaurant Romeo and newly opened rough house, also in his hometown. Unlike previous editionsthis year World Paella Day there was also a training phase bringing all participants closer together origin of this dish on an unforgettable journey.
Kittlein talks about how the Valencia City Council, which is responsible for organizing the event, made the experience richer: “In the four days before the competition, they gave us a tour. places like Albufera, where the largest rice production isas well as two restaurants that always make paella on firewood and the historic center of the city,” says Juan.
After that, the World Cup, represented by the chefs, began. Italy, France, Finland, Mexico, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Ecuador, Switzerland and Argentinaamong others.
Although the biggest prize goes to the French Eric Gil-podium completed Jani Paasikoski Kittlein from Finland put on a great performance abandoning her paella. second best in the world and therefore the best in the country and in America.
Today, she did not forget to thank her for her great success: “To my family, to friends, to the restaurant that always got me into the bank, visit Argentina of the Ministry of Tourism Country Brandfrom the Ministry of the Interior” to make the trip possible.
culinary specialist from 13 years oldWhen he joined his family’s teahouse as a bachero, the Spanish map still has some gastronomic spots to visit, restaurants and rice producing farms to visit in the coming days.
Although it gives you great pleasure, it is still a business trip. “absorb knowledge, learn and bring it to Argentina”He will return next week to continue his studies at Miramar after having a “very enriching experience”.
The chef, always interested in sharing what he knows, without haste, told LA NACION: Some ideas and tips for those who want to try paella at home.
“I think there is no secret to paella, but you need to do some research first”points out Kittlein, who has devoted herself to the special preparation of rice for three years.
“It looks like a simple dish but it isn’t, Rafael Margos (famous Valencian chief), told me ‘Making paella is simple but making a simple paella is the hardest thing there is’”. Kittlein wants to say that making paella is the most important thing. not that much materialmost of them are usually at hand, as if personal knowledge of the specific factors that influenced their preparation.
“The most difficult thing is to know the cooking point of the rice, the way it is cooked, the broth, the resting time.” he lists. “In this process, in this technique, this is where you have to be careful.”
underline most common mistakes what you observe in the preparation of paellas poor management of cooking times or the proportions of the ingredients: “He should learn to control the fire, know when to raise and when to lower the rice depending on how it is cooked. We are not used to much in Argentina weigh how much broth the rice has, the amount of fat in the paella. in these things The most common mistake is to make it with the eye.”.
Also, when rice reaches its optimum point, serve and don’t leave in paellera, because “he’s still cooking and he doesn’t have much rest. You have to be careful at this point because it can happen and you too. consider in advance the size of the paella pan based on the number of diners”.
As for the ingredients, Kittlein more diverse and flexible than most people think: “It is considered a traditional low-income dish in Valencia and people cook it. with what you have.”
Remember the beginning of everything a good roast, sauce that serves as the base for paella, among other dishes. Although it has varying ingredients, its true essence for Juan “There’s olive oil, garlic, diced tomatoes and paprika.”. “
a good roast it will give the base an identity that you can add from onions, peppers, pumpkin and carrots even proteins, if he wants to make it from pork with bacon, for example, or chorizo,” he notes.
Another important point is the broth. “As usual I recommend making the broth according to the protein that the paella will contain.if it is fish, it must be made with fish broth; if it is chicken, pork or any other animal, it must be made with bones to preserve this essence”. In Spain it says, “It is made with the same water and saffron that is used to prepare rabbits, ducks or anything else”.
As for the rice, kitten explains: “There is no specific Mediterranean rice production in Argentina, but any double caroline Suitable”. She also recommends organic rice. polished short grain of the Pampas Rice“similar in form to Spanish and becomes loose, creamy and moist when cooked”.
In the end, as he underlined, the most important thing is, learn, read and apply“When I decided to specialize in rice dishes, I read books, saw videos on YouTube, contacted Spanish chefs and sent them photos of my work,” he recalls, emphasizing that this process is very important in order to perfect the dish. “Most important: I burned kilos of rice until I found the right spot”.
He explains that even though Juan Kittlein grew up surrounded by seafood in a coastal city, the most expensive ingredient in paella for Argentines is not the most important to him: “We need to get rid of the culture where paella is less rice and more seafood.” So, when the paella at Romeo’s is criticized for containing less seafood than the customer expects, the internal response is often “buy the boiled rice and casserole”.
A good example of the flexibility the dish can have is the same paella that Kittlein served in the world championship final. We had chicken, rabbit, duck, string beans, beans and artichokes.It is cooked on rice of the Albufera variety native to Valencia. Previously, he had competed in a quite different class in the classification. fish and shellfishprominent among them mediterranean shrimps.
The purpose of cooking for him as well as for the jury that congratulated him on the podium, “feel how sofrito, broth and protein come together in rice”. In addition, Kittlein reinforces the origins of paella as a humble dish, so shrimp can always be replacedeven for other cheap seafood.
“Good option for cheap calamari paella”Kittlein preserves. “Then we have fish that are not as expensive as we are. charlatan and silver sideas well as other animals such as Crab They also look great.” Don’t forget that meats such as pork may be included as well. smoked bacon or chorizoas highlighted by the internationally renowned chef.
For this reason, it is emphasized again. can save protein as it is a secondary and flexible factor. the best for you “give the main role to rice”. Thus, he concludes, a good paella is “when you eat a spoonful of rice and feel the perfect union between the flavor of the sauce, the broth, and whatever you choose to cook, whether it’s shrimp, corvina, pork, octopus.” Crab”.
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