Taberna Alabadero is raked at the top of the list in the US when it comes to Spanish cuisine. The executive chef is from Madrid Spain and in class he took us on a journey in making the national dish of Spain- Paella.
He started with the stocks- Fish Stock, Chicken Stock, and Vegetable Stock. He stressed the importance of making your own stocks vs store bought stocks.
Next was the bases which was tomato sauce with veggies for the vegetable paella, calamari and cuddle fish for the seafood paella, and chicken thighs and breast for the meat paella.
We made different paellas and a risotto. Seafood Paella, Vegetarian Paella, Chicken and chorizo Paella, Squid ink paella with shrimp and scallops, and a mushroom risotto.
I noticed that the chef was liberal with the salt in each step of making the paella so that the flavors are layered. The Paellas were delicious. That even I returned to Taberna Alabadero and had the Lobster Paella which was good but it lacked seasoning. I am not sure if it was because the stocks and bases are cooked in a larger quantity for dinner service or if one of the chefs not season the paella like I witnessed being seasoned in the class.
The experience was great and I am now very ready to make a proper Paella. The last time I made a paella was when I lived in Rota Spain. It came out really good but I know I did not make it the Spanish way.