Simply Paella

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Ph: Paul 0410 609 940, Ciaran 0402 938 202

Spice Up Your Life

If you are looking for something different to spice up your party, wedding, function or event, you need look no further than Simply Paella. They will not only feed your guests, but also make for a great talking point – the chefs are friendly, easy on the eye, and the long slow cooking process and tantalising smells wafting from the huge paella pan will arouse everyone’s appetite. Their passion creates a great atmosphere and of course, fantastic food.
Paul Bardetta (who has spent the past 10 years as a chef) and Ciaran Blake have been friends since childhood.

The pair came up with the idea of a catering business based on traditional Spanish cuisine specialising in paella while working in various tapas bars and paella kitchens during a working holiday in Spain. (While Paul has an extensive chef background, Ciaran has a rich Spanish heritage and spent time living with his family in Spain.)
After returning to Perth, the two lads set up the business and had huge paella pans imported from Spain and custom built paella burners fabricated in Perth. They can cater for all sorts of events – everything from backyard parties and weddings to huge festivals from twenty to 2,000 guests, and don’t mind travelling – even interstate.

We spent a leisurely couple of hours at a Halloween party in Cottesloe with 100 guests, observing as Paul hovered over the enormous pan, slowly stirring a mixture of chicken, garlic, onion, saffron and other spices making our mouths water with the aroma before adding rice and several jugs of home made stock taken from a separate, simmering pot.
This mixture sat simmering while the stock reduced, before being topped with fresh prawns and squid rings, strips of red and yellow capsicum, peas, lots of freshly chopped parsley and plenty of smoky paprika. Rice is left to form a caramelized crust (soccaret) on the bottom as the stock evaporated, steaming the seafood as it went. The finished paella was then served into little palm leaf bowls and drizzled with their secret signature herb blend. Onlookers were mesmerized by the entire process, and it was quite a spectacle to watch the food instantly devoured by the salivating guests!
This recipe is for a seafood paella, but there are many other variations available with the inclusion of ingredients such as lobster, mussels, scallops, spicy chorizo or braised beef cheek. Simply Paella can tailor the dish to suit whatever flavour the client desires.
On the same night, just down the road in Claremont, Ciaran and another chef were following this identical process on two pans set up under a marquee at a street festival in Bay View Terrace. Their versatility is admirable to say the least.
So if you’ve got a function coming up, why not let Simply Paella take care of the shopping and food preparation, that long, slow cooking process that will simply tantalise your guests before being served and cleaning up afterwards, while you relax, chat to your guests and enjoy your event? Sounds like a good idea to me.
By Georgina Goss


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