Listen up paella fans: there’s only one place to go if you want the best paella in the world. Bon Aire restaurant, in El Palmar, Valencia, recently won first place at the International Valencian Paella Competition in Sueca.
This prestigious competition just celebrated its 58th edition with no less than 40 finalists, seven of them from countries other than Spain. Contenders came from all over the world: Costa Rica, Australia, France, Andorra, Italy, the US, Japan, Mexico, and Peru. The goal of this event is to “internationalize authentic Valencian paella,” according to efeagro.com, and also to promote Valencia’s gastronomic culture. All contenders made paella using the same exact ingredients, which included snails, olive oil, Sueca rice, tomato, garlic, saffron, chicken and rabbit.
The restaurant took home almost $3000 in prize money, and was thrilled about the distinction, which recognizes its hard work during four decades to prepare the best paella possible. The secret behind its delicious rice lies in finding the precise cooking times for each component.
Bon Aire opened its doors in 1987, and has been working on serving “the perfect fusion of traditional Valencian cuisine,” focusing particularly on rice and other classic dishes from the area.
Other winners included Michelin-star Monastrell restaurant, in Alicante, which took home second place, while third place went to Casa Granero, in Valencia. Melbourne-based restaurant Simply Spanish received an award for the best paella from a non-Spanish restaurant.