Are you planning on having a group of people over for a party? Wondering what to serve them? The traditional Aussie go-to is the BBQ. The more exotic summer version is the seafood buffet. But what about something that combines the best aspects of these and takes away the stress?

In Spain, the answer to this is the paella parties. Combining tasty seafood and tender meat with rice, as well as salads and starters like empanadas, paella parties tick all the boxes. There is also the added benefit of theatre - guests can watch their meal being prepared, smell the cooking aromas and chat to the chef while they work up an appetite. 

Paella parties are not a special event thing in Spain. Many families gather every weekend in a park, near the beach or at someone’s house and out comes the paella pan. 

Did you know that paella is traditionally cooked by men? Yep, in Spain it’s the blokes who painstakingly prepare this dish. 

There are lots of different styles of paella - from paella negra which is blackened with squid ink, very traditional paella made with rabbit and duck, seafood paella loaded up with juicy prawns, mussels and calamari, as well as colourful vegetarian options. The most popular style of paella is the chicken and prawn version, served with wedges of lemon - it’s the ultimate crowd pleaser. 

Traditionally there are starters like platters of jamon, olives, fresh bread and manchego cheese. Empanadas stuffed with spiced potato, egg and beef will do the rounds while the paella is cooking (a process that takes up to an hour, depending on numbers - nobody wants undercooked rice). 

Just like at an Aussie BBQ, there’s usually an Esky stacked with beer, wine and soft drinks but a lot of Spanish gatherings also feature sangria. Recipes vary wildly depending on what fruit is in season but there base ingredients are red wine, brandy, lemons, oranges, a bottle of soft drink and a bit of sugar. Sangria is basically a wine-based punch so don’t stress too much if you don’t have all the ingredients - you can ad lib a bit and it will still taste amazing. 

Flavours of Spain can take care of all of your catering needs. Click here to check out our menus (

Feeling adventurous? Why not have a crack at making your own empanadas. We’ve chosen this recipe as it uses puff pastry rather than homemade pastry. The almonds are a uniquely Spanish twist!

 Easy Chicken and almond empanadas


  • 250g chicken thighs, diced into 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 30g flaked toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Empanada wrappers or use 2 sheets of pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks


Making the Filling

  1. Heat some oil in large nonstick pan over low heat and sweat the onions until very soft and translucent.
  2. Increase the heat, add the red chilli, pork and all the dry spices and cook until the pork takes on some colour (3-4 mins).
  3. Now add the lime juice and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Take off the heat, allow to cool then the almonds & sour cream and season.

To Build

  1. Cut out some 8cm diameter rounds of puff pastry and place 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre of each dough round.
  2. Lightly brush the edges with egg. Fold dough over to make a half moon shaped parcel, pressing the edges with fork to seal.
  3. Place on prepared baking sheets.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins.

Cooking the Empanadas

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  2. Brush empanadas with beaten egg yolk. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  3. Serve nice and hot. 


Papitos Restaurant wins


Winner Papitos Restaurant

Sydney, 30 May 2015
Papito’s restaurant from Singapore won Oceania’s 2nd International Paella Championships organised by the Australian catering Company “Flavours of Spain” in Sydney on Saturday 30 May in Manly, Sydney.

Miguel Cuevas, Director of Flavours of Spain said: “the prize went to Asia. All four members of the jury agreed unanimously that the winner cooked an almost-perfect paella”.

The winning paella made of chicken, rabbit and chorizo was made “with a lot of effort and focus and stood out for its socarrat (crusty bottom of the paella), symmetry and it’s flavour”, said Miguel Cuevas about the winning dish. The Championships were part of the Taste of Manly food and wine festival in Manly, Sydney.

This is the second edition of the championships and this time the chefs had the chance to cook a ‘freestyle‘ paella as opposed to last year’s when they had to cook a traditional version.
Simply Spanish restaurant from Melbourne was second place for the second year on a row.

The third place was a joint place between “The Deck” restaurant in Sydney and “Elena’s Paella” from Melbourne.

The top three in this 2015 edition in Oceania will compete as the region representatives in the world finals in Spain and will aspire to the title of ‘Best Paella chef in the world”.

The event is organized by Flavours of Spain and Manly Council.

For more information contact

For more details about last year’s championship, please check out this video:

For more details please check




Phone: 0421 348 638




WHAT: 2nd International Spanish Paella Championships
WHEN: Saturday 30 May 12pm – 4pm – Winners will be announced at 3pm
WHERE: The Corso corner with Sydney rd. Manly
COST: General Public: Free – Participants: $350 per restaurant/caterer

Sydney, April 2015 – Flavours of Spain, the Australian-based catering company that provides delicious, authentic Spanish paella to different events in Australia, will host the 2nd International Spanish Paella Championships in May 2015. The competition takes place on Saturday 30 May as part and opening event for food and wine festival A Taste of Manly. The contest invites the best Australian and international chefs to cook and fight for the title of Best Paella in Oceania. The top three winners in Manly will be recognized as the best paella chefs in Oceania and then go on to compete in another internationally renowned paella festival in Spain, for the chance to be recognised worldwide as the world’s leading paella chef.

20120916 - Flavors of Spain 0611

The final contestants are from,
Bali, NSW, Queensland, Singapore, South Australia, Sydney and Victoria.

The judges are

  • Miguel Cuevas – Paella Ambassador to Australia
  • Emile Gomez, Director – Nomad Distribution and leading paella chef
  • Dane Richards Director, Le Bon Vivant Food Blog
  • Milo Elder – food critic for SydneySocial101

“We are very proud to be organizing this international contest in Australia again and look forward to receiving applications from the most qualified chefs and paella lovers throughout Australia and other places in Oceania,” says Miguel Cuevas, Paella Ambassador to Australia and founder of Flavours of Spain Catering.

“It’s an opportunity to present a truly unique food festival to the Australian community. Visitors who come to Manly to enjoy the Oceania’s second international paella contest will experience a vibrant and memorable gastronomic journey to Spain.”
The event is organized by Flavours of Spain and the Council of Manly.

For more information contact

For more details about last year’s championship, please check out this video:

For more details please check




Phone: 0421 348 638

Chef Miguel Cuevas gets the recognition of “Paella Ambassador for Australia”
at the 54th International Paella contest in Spain

Chef and founder of Sydney based Spanish catering company Flavours of Spain, Miguel Cuevas, was named “Paella Ambassador for Australia” last weekend during the 54th International Paella contest held in the city of Sueca, Spain.

Cuevas has been promoting the Spanish paella in Australia from the last five years and he organised the successful First Paella Championships in Manly in May. The contest invited 30 Australian chefs to cook and compete for the title of “Best Paella Chef in Oceania”. Miguel and three local chefs flew to Valencia to represent Australia at the global contest in Sueca, Spain.

The results of the international competition were announced last Sunday. The restaurant Miguel y Juani from l’Alcúdia won the title of “Best paella Chef in the world” and Australia achieved the fourth place.

Ceremony at the Sueca council
Ceremony at the Sueca council - Chef Miguel Cuevas receives his award

Carbonell’s team Australia competes for “BEST PAELLA CHEF IN THE WORLD” title at International Paella Championship in Spain

When the 54th International Paella Championships heats up in Sueca, Spain on 14 September 2014, Australia will be there to compete for the title of “Best Paella Chef in the World”. The competition is the highlight of the annual 10-day rice festival that takes place in this Valencian community, known as “the birthplace of paella”.  The event draws paella lovers from all over Spain and beyond.

To determine who would compete for Australia, Sydney-based Spanish catering company Flavours of Spain organised the inaugural International Spanish Paella Championships on our own shores earlier this year. The contest invited 30 Australian and international chefs to cook and fight for the title of “Best Paella Chef in Oceania”. On May 25 on Sydney’s celebrated Manly Beach, chef Hassan M’Souli of Manly’s Out of Africa restaurant was crowned the winner at this first-ever local event to showcase the iconic Spanish dish.

International Spanish Paella Championships

Second place went to chef Failino Lattarulo from Simply Spanish restaurant in Melbourne, and Alex Fry from Sah Modern Mediterranean restaurant in Adelaide took home a third-place win. The three winners will next fly to Sueca in September to compete alongside paella enthusiast, chef, and Flavours of Spain founder Miguel Cuevas for the chance to be recognised worldwide as the world’s leading paella chef.

Cuevas was named the Paella Ambassador in Australia by, an organisation whose aim is to protect the authenticity of Spanish paella around the world. “I am very excited to be able to compete in Europe’s oldest and most prestigious food competition, the Sueca Paella World Cup,” says Cuevas. “I have put together Carbonell’s Team Australia to represent Oz. I am very confident we have a good chance to do well and make Australia proud in this very important world event.”

Organised by Flavours of Spain, the team of Cuevas, M’Souli, Lattarulo, and Fry is has chosen to partner with Carbonell, Spain’s best-selling traditional olive oil brand. Olive oil is an essential ingredient in authentic Spanish paella. “The key to a great paella really is a quality Spanish olive oil like Carbonell,” says Cuevas. “Paella is great for heart health, as it combines fresh vegetables, rice and seafood with lots of olive oil to provide a rich source of omega 3 and 6. Given that paella originated in Spain, it makes sense to use a quality Spanish olive oil like Carbonell to achieve a truly authentic Spanish flavour..”

Flavour of Spain team with winners
Flavour of Spain team with winners.

About Flavours: 
Flavours of Spain caters birthday and anniversary parties, weddings, and corporate events, bringing chef Miguel Cuevas’ authentic and delicious paellas to the masses in Australia. The caterer has won numerous awards and is the only Spanish catering company in Australia with the Restaurant & Catering Association’s Gold Licence, the HACCP accreditation and the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

About Carbonell:
Carbonell was founded in 1866 by Antonio Carbonell, who had a vision to produce high-quality Spanish olive oil. His legacy is now the world’s largest Spanish olive oil brand. Carbonell olive oil is produced from olives grown under the Mediterranean sun in Cordoba, Spain. Carbonell selects only the very best Spanish olives, so you can be assured of premium quality every time you buy the company’s olive oil.




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Carbonell olive oil