Perth duo claims bronze at International Paella Valenciana Competition

Floreat resident Beatriz Lorente Lacasta and Bassendean resident Raquel Zamora Martinez.
Floreat resident Beatriz Lorente Lacasta and Bassendean resident Raquel Zamora Martinez.

TWO Perth Spaniards have brought home a bronze medal for their signature seafood paella at last month’s International Paella Valenciana Competition held in Tasmania.

Bassendean resident Raquel Zamora Martinez and Floreat resident Beatriz Lorente Lacasta, who run a small catering company called Arte Paella, competed against teams from countries including the United States, Peru, Costa Rica and Japan.

They missed out on a trip to Spain to cook off in the finals with their third place finish.

It was the first time the duo entered the competition and the first time WA came top three.

Ms Lacasta said it was a Spanish family tradition where about 20 people would fight for the “el socarrat” or caramelised rice at the bottom of the dish, every Sunday lunch.

Ms Martinez said in the competition the judges were critical of their “el socarrat”.

“The hardest part is that once you put the rice in and you have to control the intensity of the fire and make decisions quickly,” she said.

“You have to put the right amount of water to get the rice done and you can’t add more water otherwise you lose the flavour.

“There is no rule that counts how much water evaporates, it depends on the weather, humidity and the intensity of the fire which is the only thing you can control.”

She said she and Ms Lacasta hoped to go one or two spots better next year.

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