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Best Paella Chefs Face Off at Brownsville Market Square

Some of ther paiella dishes waiting to be judged. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The first annual Paella for Prosperity was held at Brownsville’s Historical Market Square in the downtown business district.

A total of 19 cooking teams competed for the best Spanish-styled dish made with rice and safron as one of its main ingredients.

Some chefs were familiar with the meal cooked on a large paella dish, while others tried it for the first time.

Among the latter one was a team from Los Fresnos Rotary Club and – believe it or not – they took third place in the event held in which its proceeds went to the Moody Clinic, an organization that provides health care service for children with special needs.

Gonzalo Salazar, a Rotarian and superintendent of Los Fresnos school district, was member a of the cooking team along with Jaime Barbosa, Adan Garcia and David Armendariz, Los Fresnos’ local State Farm agent.

He said this was their first time cooking paella although they practiced beforehand by making such dish about a month ago.

Third place paella winners with Los Fresnos Rotary Club. From left to right are Jaime Barbosa, Adan Garcia, David Armendariz and Gonzalo Salazar. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

His fellow Rotarians said it was an honor for them to represent their city even though they realized it was going to be a tough contest.

The four Rotarians took to the stage after their team was announced as the third place winners.

The first place went to a team with The Fish King, a seafood restaurant and market owned by Josue Fernandez and the second spot went to Rotary Brownsville.

Early in the day the teams got ready for the event and cooked paellas for several hours.

At 6 p.m., two team members carried their respective paella dishes and paraded the final product toward the table where a team of judges sampled the dishes one by one.

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