On 20 September 2019, the world will celebrate one of Spain’s most iconic dishes; paella. World Paella Day is a recognition of the most universal dish in Spanish cuisine. A day in which Valencians share a dish of humble origins that has now reached all corners of the globe with eight million searches a year online. With the variance in recipes and ingredients from dish to dish, paella is truly an international dish.

The campaign, spearheaded by the city of Valencia, will be celebrated in a number of the world’s major cities with Quito, Ecuador holding a paella cooking contest, Tokyo hosting a paella week across a host of restaurants, and Moscow, Paris, Rotterdam and Milan hosting paella experiences. London will be welcoming three Michelin starred Quique Dacosta, one of the leading chefs in Mediterranean cuisine, to host a masterclass for the British press.

So on Friday 20 September we want you to have a go at making your very own paella! To give you a helping hand, the Spanish Tourist Office has enlisted the help of Xavier Meroño of the London Paella School to provide you with some top tips when it comes to making your paella:

1. Invest in a paella dish: They're massive but part of the fun, and mean you can do proper communal, family-style eating like the Spanish. Paella is more than a dish, it is a celebration of togetherness.

2. You need chicken and rabbit: A combination of the two is traditional. Cut into chunks and saute in olive oil until the meat is sealed and golden in the paella pan.

3. The trick to adding the tomato is to grate it: Once your meat is looking crisp, grate in a tomato (skin on, optional) - don't slice and dice it.

4. Include a mixture of beans: Time to tip in equal parts green beans, Lima beans or instead butter beans, for heft and something to chew on.

5. Use rice suitable for paella: Once your meat and veggies are nicely fried, in goes a jug of stock or water and a sprig of rosemary, and only then, once everything is a-boil with a nice flavoured stock, is it time for the rice. Long-grain will struggle to soak up the juices, while short-grain will dissolve into mush - look for rice labelled 'paella' or any of Valencian round short rice like Bomba rice, Senia-Bahia rice or JSendra rice.

6. Saffron gives it that copper colour: That orangey-sunset hue is all thanks to a few strands of saffron stirred through. Don't leave it out, however annoying it is to track down in the supermarket.

7. The seafood element should be snails, not prawns and mussels: Most of us expect paella to come topped with perfectly pink prawns and mounds of mussels, but historically it was laced with a handful of boiled snails.

So get your paellera out on Friday and share your paella with us under the hashtag #WorldPaellaDay! 


For more information on World Paella Day, please visit

For more information on the London Paella School, please visit

For more information on Spain as a holiday destination, please visit 

The Spanish Tourist Office in London is represented by LOTUS ( 0207 953 7470).