The Contest

This contest is only for professional chefs, up to a total of 30, from all over the US. They will compete to cook the best Authentic Paella Valenciana and a second ‘free style’ paella.

The winner of the Traditional Paella Contest will travel to Sueca (Spain) in September 2019 and will have the opportunity to be the next best Paella Chef in the world.

The second and third prizes will receive a certificate and direct access to the US semi-final for 2020.

The winner of the free style paella will receive a spanish ham

The second and third prizes will receive a certificate.

What participants get

All ingredients

Ingredients to prepare the tradicional paella will be included.

Paella cooking set

The set is worth $700 and includes: Steel paella pan, paella burner with tripod, apron, gloves and spatula.


All participant will receive a Paella masteclass by Chef Jesús Melero

Paella cooking set

The jury

Jesús Melero
Jesús Melero

Jesús is a master paella chef of the RI-RA restaurant in Sueca (Spain). He is the president of the jury.

Amanda Mars
Amanda Mars

Amanda Mars, born in Castellón (Spain), is the correspondent of the spanish newspaper El País in Washington DC. She started her career working for EuropaPress in 2001. She joint El País in 2006 and has been in the US since 2015, first in New York and since 2017 in Washington DC.

natalia cabrera
Natalia Cabrera

Natalia is the founder of Khayyan Specialty Foods. Khayyan is a producer, importer and distributor of ingredients and the company was created under the premise that culinary excellence is supported by outstanding ingredients.


Migdaliz Vélez-Reyes

Migdaliz, born in Puerto Rico, is the current Culinary Arts Program Coordinator at Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez in Washington DC. She’s been a chef instructor for the last 13 years and has experience as a personal chef in Paris (France) and as 1st Pastry Cook at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Naples, FL.

Miguel Sanfeliu

Miguel is an account manager at Socarrat, the advertising agency behind the International Contest of Valencian Paella of Sueca. He is the deputy president of the jury.

Daniel Domingo
Daniel Domingo

Daniel was born in Sueca (Spain). He started his steps at the Mediterran Culinary School as a kitchen assistant for Jesús Melero. He became Chef of important restaurants of the Valencian coast. Daniel currently works for Sawm Imports one of the most important wine and food importers in the US.

Gilbert Clerget
Gilbert Clerget

Gilbert brings with him over 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Gilbert joined the team at Bretton Woods in early 2018 after spending two years in charge of the kitchen at the IMF HQ2 in downtown Washington DC


All professional cooks, with previous invitation from the organization, can participate in the Contest, from national and international areas, of legal age, always being in representation of a food company or an organization related to gastronomy, proving it with the corresponding documentation.

Annually, the Committee of the Organization, formed by the mayor of the city, the contest councillor, and the consultor staff designated by the Corporations, has the right to invite those cooks whom they consider convenient to participate in the contest.

For this year’s edition, the Committee of the Organization will pick 30 contestants maximum.

A kitchen assistant may accompany the cooks.
The cook has to elaborate a 15 servings paella, following the recipe made by the Organizing Committee of the International Contest of Valencian Paella of Sueca, and supported by the Club of Head Chefs of the Valencian Community.

The purpose of the Contest is to establish rules to ensure maximum quality in the restoration, and a bigger divulgation and recognition of the Valencian Paella at an international level.

The Qualifying Jury will score
a) the cooking of the rice.
b) the taste.
c) the color.
d) the simetry of the ingredients.
e) the “socarrat”.t’s lightning fast

Our Sponsors

Platinum sponsor

Mahou Beer

Gold sponsors

casa valencia wdc
concurso de paella Sueca
Turismo Valencia

Silver sponsors

land of saffron

Global sponsors

PaellaFest Global Sponsors


(only professional chefs)

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