By Jo Pugh •
Published: 11 Sep 2023 • 9:34
Restaurant Paco Baile has the best Valencian Community paella. Credit: Santa Pola Town Hall
Tiel Baile, a chef from Santa Pola representing Paco Baile Restaurant, has clinched the esteemed title of Best Paella in the Valencian Community at the 62nd edition of the Sueca International Valencian Paella Competition, which was held on Sunday, September 10.
The competition stands as the oldest gastronomic event of its kind in Spain, attracting culinary talents from not only the Valencian Community but also from across Spain and the world.
A total of 45 chefs participated in the event, including three local chefs from Sueca, 14 from the Valencian Community, 13 from various Spanish regions, and 15 international chefs representing countries such as Peru, Canada, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Korea, Switzerland, Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, Puerto Rico, Italy, Great Britain, and Andorra.
Among the contestants were two chefs from Santa Pola, namely Javier Sánchez of Nueva Mandarina Restaurant and Antonio Daniel Baile Pascual of Paco Baile Restaurant.
Sequial 20 Restaurant in Sueca was honoured with the title of the world’s best paella, followed by Paella Guys & Co. Restaurant in Burnaby, Canada, in second place, and Bon Aire Restaurant in El Palmar, which secured third place.
In addition to these notable awards, distinctions were also bestowed upon paellas in various categories, including the best local, regional, national, and international Valencian paellas.
The support of Santa Pola’s Tourism Councillor, Borja Merino, and Commerce Councillor, Joaquín Lozano, added to the encouraging atmosphere during the competition, demonstrating their commitment to the town’s culinary excellence.
‘Paella valenciana’ is the traditional paella of the Valencia region, believed to be the original recipe, and consists of round-grain rice, bajoqueta and tavella (varieties of green beans), rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, and garrofó (a variety of lima or butter bean), cooked in olive oil and chicken broth.
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
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