British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver may have scored some brownie points when he raved about the famous Sóller red prawns during his 2014 Mallorca holiday, but his recipe for paella stirred up a storm of criticism.
Thousands of followers responded with angry comments about Jamie’s recipe-of-the-day post on social media. “Good Spanish food doesn’t get much better than paella. My version combines chicken thighs and chorizo,” he said.
Paella purists – Spanish and other nationalities – were quick to air their views about Jamie’s inclusion of chorizo in Spain’s classic dish. “This is what we call in Spain ‘arroz con cosas’ (rice with things),” Cristina Otero commented. Many others noted that his paella was not cooked in a proper paella pan.
Irish chef Johnny Moloney has cooked numerous paellas since he moved to Mallorca. The chef and business partner in Palma’s famous seafood restaurant Ca n’Eduardo says they don’t use chorizo as a paella ingredient. “But if a diner specifically asks for chorizo in their paella, of course, we’ll add it,” he said. “The father of one of my chefs (who owned the former Restaurante Parlament in Palma) once cooked paella for Michael Douglas and his then wife Diandra. Michael asked for chorizo to be added.” Johnny added that what is most important is cooking the dish in a traditional paella pan.
Jamie Oliver responded to his critics by saying: “It did say my version. So you know that is my version and I stand by it. It’s damn good.” He added that cooks should feel free to experiment with classic recipes.
If you prefer a less-experimental approach in your paella, these are some of our favourite places to order this classic Spanish rice dish.
Mallorca’s best paellas
Ca n’Eduardo has been known for its seafood dishes for 70 years, and its location above Palma’s fish market means you’ll enjoy some of the freshest fish. Their menu of rice dishes includes a choice of six paellas.
Can Eduardo Restaurant in Palma offers the freshest daily catch from the fish market located below. The speciality is a variety of paella… truly delicious! […] Can Eduardo Restaurant Palma
You can expect the real deal at Ponderosa Beach, Playa de Muro, with award-winning ‘maestro arrocero’ Kike Martí in the kitchen. Kike is from Valencia – the home of paella.
Las Terrazas del Bendinat offers a beautiful Mediterranean view to enjoy with your choice of paellas – and has been named one of Spain’s top ten coastal restaurants.
The northwest coast is home to a unique eatery serving paellas cooked over a wood-fired grill. You’ll never forget this experience.
Discover what made celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi visit Sa Foradada for his TV series ‘Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast’. […] Paella and sea views at Sa Foradada