Eric Ripert Explains The Best Way To Eat Paella

Paella is a magical dish. It's not about a fancy restaurant or fine dining experience but rather community and comfort. It is viewed as one of the most 'sociable' dishes as friends and family pull up a chair and a spoon to dig into the impressively large dish. Paella is a large serving of fresh seafood or meat served over rice in a wide, shallow, communal pan. The name paella actually derives from the cooking vessel itself, not the food or ingredients. The word "paella" comes from the old Valencian language with Latin roots, 'patella,' which means pan.

The hearty dish was born in Valencia, Spain, and is rooted in the flavorful Spanish rice from the region.

Famous French chef Eric Rippert often shares his love for Paella with his followers on social media. One would think that a world-renowned chef like himself with a three-Michelin-starred restaurant would name a fabulous, exclusive restaurant as the best place to have paella. Surprisingly, this is not the case. During an interview with Yahoo Life, Rippert was asked what is the one food he will never order at a restaurant; his answer was Paella! The exclusive interview took place at the Cayman Cookout, a food and beverage festival hosted at the stunning Grand Cayman – Ritz Carlton.

There's no place like home

Eric Rippert elaborated on why he would never order Paella at a restaurant. He explained that while the dish may appear simple, it requires a lot of attention. He specifically enjoys making it "at home in the summer," where he is sure to find relaxation in the labored process. Rippert explained that paella is only as good as the ingredients used in it, so it is important to cook with the best of the best. The quality of the pan, the stove, and fire source the paella is cooked with even comes into play, too, according to Ripert. But of course, the Le Bernardin chef has higher standards than most.

But his favorite part of cooking paella at home is that it is a reason for friends and family to gather together. "It's really a dish that brings people together. It's very interactive, and it has something festive about it," Rippert shared. This is a sentiment so many people share. Paella can be whatever you and your family want it to be. Whether it's full of succulent shellfish or spicy andouille sausage mixed in with boldly flavored rice, there is a version for everyone. While Rippert has access to the finest things in life, nothing can replace a heaping dish of paella shared with loved ones in the hot summer months at home.