The London Paella School aims to bring Spain’s rich culinary culture and social tradition to the City of London through weekly cooking lessons, a monthly Sunday lunch club and corporate team building sessions at the London Cooking Project, Battersea.
Xavi Meroño, founder of the project, says: “We want to raise awareness about the infinite world of paella in the British community in a fun and accessible way. Our classes will provide students with a basic knowledge of paella and give them the tools they need to advance their skills to create more elaborate recipes in an environment of fellowship and teamwork. These values, which are directly related to the tradition of this renowned dish, mean cooking paella in a group is not only a fun way to meet people and learn new skills but is also the perfect activity for team building.”
It is thought that paella is the union of two cultures from Spain – the Romans for the pan ‘patella’ and the Arabs for the rice that they started to cultivate near Valencia in the 10th century. With humble beginnings as farm labourer’s food, when it was cooked by workers over a wood fire at lunch, paella became more elaborate during the 19th century when living conditions throughout the country rose. Ingredients like chicken and rabbit were added, contributing to the infinite number of recipes now available, with variations depending on the area of origin.