March 27 is National Spanish Paella Day. Paella originated from the east coast of Spain, in Valencia. It is a rice dish that can be made many different ways, but the key ingredients are saffron and bomba rice. The name paella comes from the pan it is cooked in, and not the dish.
In the mid-19th century, field workers in Valencia would make paella for lunch in a big flat pan over a fire. They would mix in anything they could find like snail, duck, rabbit, or vegetables. Over the years seafood was added to the dish since it is so close to the coast, but seafood paella is not authentic paella. Authentic paella contains a special green bean from Valencia and rabbit along with the other key ingredients.
Ms. Stone is a former teacher from Cherokee High school who taught Spanish, but due to the pandemic could not come back to school. Now she teaches people how to cook Spanish food. She has led hands on cooking classes at the Leaning Ladder in Woodstock and is going to start at The Cooks Warehouse in Buckhead. She started doing these classes because she missed teaching.
“I missed the pleasure and passion that I would feel after teaching someone something they they did not know before.” said Ms. Stone
Ms. Stone is from Madrid, Spain and loves to go and visit her family who live there. She has not been able to visit due to covid restrictions, but she is going in May and she is very excited. When asked what she missed about Spain, besides her family she replied.
“I miss being able to get healthy, tasty, gourmet food anywhere, whenever I want to and I don’t have to cook it.”Ms. Stone
When asked what her background with cooking Spanish cuisine was she responded.
“My whole life, 25 years of cooking, seeing, and watching since I was a little girl.”Ms. Stone
She loves to cook not only Spanish cuisine, but almost anything. Ms. Stone said she always had an interest in cooking and that her mother and grandmother are amazing cooks. Her love and passion for cooking keeps growing and she cooks everyday. She loves to make paella, her favorite way to make it is with bomba rice, safferon, pork loin and white chicken marinated in Spanish paprika, and her own shrimp broth.
You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @begonaspanishkitchen