Top chefs to cook 10-foot wide paella | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

LAST year’s Paella Gigante
LAST year’s Paella Gigante
LAST year’s Paella Gigante



It is my privilege to write about the Paella Gigante again. The annual festival is staged for the benefit of the Sociedad Española de Beneficenca (SEB), a nongovernment organization founded in 1948 by Spanish citizens residing in the Philippines.


Lally San José, Sociedad’s executive director, explained that Sociedad was initially established to provide shelter to indigent elderly Spanish citizens in the country.


This Saturday the giant paella, measuring 10 feet in diameter and that can serve 1,000, will be showcased at Greenbelt 3 Park.


The third run of the Festival de la Paella Gigante is part of The Gastronomy Festival at Ayala Malls and of the Department of Tourism’s Flavors of the Philippines Festival, in celebration of Madrid Fusión Manila.


Cooking the paella are some of the biggest names in the industry namely Carlo Miguel of 71 Gramercy and Draft, Fernando Aracama of Aracama Filipino Cuisine, Gilbert Pangilinan of Cerveseria and Kai, Sito Senn of the Country Club, Jerome Valencia of Tambai Yakitori Snack House, Mikel Arriet of Club Punta Fuego, James Antolin of Pastry Alliance of the Philippines, and Les Toques Blanches Philippines Chefs Association president J. Gamboa of Cirkulo and Milkyway Restaurants.


I too will cook and join the fun!


In keeping with the festive spirit of the Paella Gigante and Madrid Fusión, here are three delicious paella recipes shared by Chefs J Gamboa and Mikel Arriet.


Cirkulo’s Paella Negra

SAFFON Seasoned Rice with Baby Prawns, Squid, Sea Bass and Squid Ink
SAFFON Seasoned Rice with Baby Prawns, Squid, Sea Bass and Squid Ink

Saffron seasoned rice with baby prawns, squid, sea bass and squid ink by Chef J Gamboa. Serves 3-4.


¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon onions, minced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

2 pieces squid, small, cleaned and sliced

6 pcs shrimp, peeled

50 grams sea Bass fillet, diced

¼ c green peppers, diced

¼ c red peppers, diced

¼ c tomato Concasse

1 tsp paprika, pimenton de la vera

1 c short grain rice

2 c fish stock

1 pinch saffron

1 tbsp squid ink

6 pcs baby prawns

4 pcs leeks, white part only

4 pcs roasted red peppers, sliced

salt and pepper, to taste


Heat paellera, add olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until a little brown.


Add seafood (except baby prawns) and continue to sauté. Add peppers, tomato, and paprika


Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes

Add hot fish stock with saffron into mixture and boil for 5 minutes.

Mix in squid ink

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Top with baby prawns, peppers, leeks and cover. Continue to cook for 3 minutes until prawns are done. Finish with extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley on the top.


Cirkulo’s Paella a la Montana


Wild mushroom paella by Chef J. Gamboa. Serves 3-4.


1/4 c  olive oil

2 cloves         garlic, whole peeled

½ c             onions, minced

½ c               mushrooms, shitake, sliced

½ c     mushrooms, button, sliced

½ c   mushrooms, oyster, sliced

½ c mushrooms, abalone, sliced pinch saffron

(You can also use 2 cups assorted mushrooms).

1 c rice, short grain

2 c chicken stock salt and pepper, to taste

1 c asparagus tips, blanched


In a sauté pan or paellera, heat olive oil


Add garlic and sauté until golden brown


Remove garlic and set aside


In the oil, sauté the onions and all the mushrooms until soft


Set aside half of the mushrooms together with the garlic, this will be used as a topping later.


To the remaining mushrooms add the saffron and rice. Sauté for 3 minutes.


Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper


Bring down to a simmer and cover for 12 minutes or until rice is almost done.


Season asparagus with salt and pepper.


Top the paella with asparagus and reserved mushrooms and garlic


Drizzle with some olive oil







This version by Chef Mikkel Arriet also serves 4.


4 tbsp olive oil

4 baby prawns, unpeeled

1 squid cut in to 4

200 grams lapu-lapu

4 mussels

1 chicken breast cut into 4

100 grams liempo cut into 4

Half white onion, chopped

1 each small green and red peppers, diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 tbsp.tomato sauce

4 espresso coffee cups of rice (arborio or paella rice)

8 espresso cups of warm fish or chicken stock with one pinch of saffron

pinch of yellow food color, optional

One lemon for garnish


In a paellera, put olive oil and add the prawns, cook and remove after 1 minute. Set aside

Add squid, fish, sauté. Remove again, set aside

Add liempo and chicken, cook until slightly browned

Add onion, garlic bell pepper

Cook until tender

Add the tomato sauce

Add rice, and cook for about a minute

Add warm stock with saffron

Bring to a boil, simmer and cook until rice is done




Arrange prawns and seafood

Garnish with lemon before serving

Each order of paella at the Paella Gigante Festival at Greenbelt 3 Park this Saturday will cost P200. For tickets, call Alex, Bryan or Bern of SEB at 8430742, 8430739 or 0916-3188793. Tickets will also be sold on site.


Cooking starts at 5 p.m. We all hope to see you there!

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