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hotel republic ltd team
hotel republic ltd is one of the leading MICE representation companies in the UK, based in central London. It acts as the UK sales office for a number of hotel chains and individual conference hotels worldwide. Our first class portfolio consists of more than 210 venues.
We have hotels in nearly every corner of the globe and that’s why our M.I.C.E suppliers and Tour Operators are particularly keen to work with us; they see us as a one-stop-shop.
To find out more visit the hotel republic ltd directory page, or the hotel republic ltd website direct

Paella for PortAventura!

Paella for PortAventura
Think Spain, think paella and now think PortAventura! That’s what lay behind hotel republic’s latest original networking event for the UK’s top MICE agencies. They organised a paella master-class at the renowned cooking school, L’Atelier des Chefs, in central London to promote the stunning Spanish destination to the cream of the crop of Britain’s meetings and incentives’ agents.

hotel republic’s MD, Kai Schomann, said: “PortAventura is a fantastic and fun venue close to Barcelona. So what better way to reflect what it’s got to offer than to all get together and learn how to make an authentic paella? Next time someone sees this national dish on the menu, they’ll automatically think of PortAventura.”

The event attracted the biggest names in the UK MICE market, including CWT, NICE, George P Johnson, Shore Events and CMS Events. They learnt there is a real art to making authentic paella and that patience is a key ingredient.

Kai Schomann added: “We always like to cook up a storm as far as networking events go and do something different and that’s just one of the reasons this event was a terrific success.”

Paella could well be on the menu at PortAventura which isn’t just one of Europe’s most adventurous theme parks, it’s also a magnificent conference and incentive destination. It has its own convention centre and can accommodate up to 3,000 guests. It’s ideal for seminars, sporting events and corporate incentives. Being so close to transport links is another plus. Its only 1 hour from the Barcelona airport.

Kai Schoman said: “As we found out, there’s more to paella than rice and chicken and there’s a whole lot more to PortAventura than anybody might expect too; it’s the only Spanish conference venue that comes with its own theme park and soon the fantastic Ferrariland!”

How to make the prefect Paella for PortAventura
INGREDIENTS:

3 cups bomba or calasparra rice
8 cups chicken/pork stock

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced

10 -15 flat green beans

4 plum tomatoes, diced

0.5 (4 ounce) can tomato paste

15 large shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussels)
4 links chorizo sausages, frito sliced into 1 inch pieces

1⁄2 cup fresh parsley

2 -3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1⁄2 tablespoon paprika
1 pinch saffron

3 lemons, quartered

METHOD
It's best to have all your ingredients prepared before you start cooking.
Cut the meat into small slices and lightly salt.
Peel the shrimp, leaving only the tail and then salt them. In Spain we tend to leave the shrimp unshelled.

Try to make your chicken/pork/seafood stock from scratch (time permitting), adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme.
Keep your stock hot but not boiling as you cook.
Coat the bottom of your paellera/pan with olive oil.
Brown your chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes; just get the outside well browned. Set aside. This should add a nice red color and a hell of a flavor to your oil. Brown the chicken/pork for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.

Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they're softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished. Slowly cook until the onions are golden.
Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen (1-2 min over high heat).

Mix all of the vegetables and meat or seafood together with the caramelized tomato paste also adding the paprika, parsley and thyme.
Add rice, mixing together and stirring as the rice browns (1-1 1/2) minutes. As the rice browns mix in the saffron. Make sure to break it between your fingers and stir it in to release all those tasty oils.
When the rice is slightly translucent add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If it's been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.

This is where paella is made and broken. Stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. After this you must let the paella SIT! Let it cook another 10-20 minutes, adding broth bit by bit to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is al dente. Don't worry about rice burning to the bottom, this part (which has a name; socarrat) is a tasty delicacy. During the last 15 mins of cooking, pop a bunch of rosemary on the top of the paella.
Stir and with about 8 minutes left to cook, lay the shrimp on top, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook each side. When the rice on top is still quite al dente, take the paella off of heat and cover. You must let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Patience is the key.

Once you're sure it's ready uncover, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy paella for PortaVentura!

For more images visit www.hotelrepublic.com/a-cooking-class-for-portaventura/

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