Paella Cook-off

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Competition Rules:

Organized by Paella For the World in coordination with the New Jersey Restaurant Association,  the New Jersey Paella Festival  will also include a Paella competition (Paella cook- off). Although our competition is part of New Jersey Paella Festival, please remember that this is still a backyard  style event. Competition is lively, but certainly friendly. There will be close interaction with other teams and patrons. If you are interested in becoming a team contestant, here are the guidelines:


October 25, 2014.   Competition is roughly  from 2:30 – 4:30 pm.


Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) of Hudson County Community College. 161 Newkirk St, Jersey City, New Jersey.

What Does It Cost?

There are no costs or fees of any kind.


You may participate in the competition individually or as a member of a team. Multiple teams from the same institution/organization are allowed, provided that no individual serves on more than one team. You may not participate in the competition individually if you are a member of a team. Each team will be required to have a team name. This is for judging and documentation purposes.

Team Size:

Each team is allowed a maximum of  2  members.

Number of Teams:

A maximum of 5  teams

Team Captain:

One team member must serve as the team leader. Each team is required to have a team captain for contact purposes.

Paella Styles:

There are numerous varieties of paella. However, the competition will be grouped into  three  broad categories:

  • Valencian paella        
  •  Seafood paella   
  • Mixed paella           

Time Limits:

Dishes must be ready on time. This allows judges to evaluate each dish. It is HIGHLY encouraged for teams to get to the site well in advance for preparation, etc. (At least 2-3 hours recommended).

How does the competition work ?

Judging Process:

Judging will be conducted by a panel of independent qualified judges. The decisions of the judges are final in all matters related to the competition.

At 2: pm  all the selected cooks join to read the rules and receive the last instructions from the  qualified judges. As soon as the meeting finishes  with the members of the jury  the cooks move  to the designated places where the competition will take place.

At 2: 30 pm  the jury president will officially  initiate the competition.

Judging Criteria:

Judging will be based on a pre-defined set of criteria. Items such as quality of the rice, texture, caramelization, presentation, etc. However, teams are encouraged to be creative in line with the spirit of the event.

Description of Prizes:

The competition will offer the following prizes:

Valencian paella:  

  • First Prize                $ 250
  • Second Prize           $ 150
  • Third Prize               $ 100

 Seafood paella:

First Prize                $ 250

  • Second Prize           $ 150
  • Third Prize               $ 100

Mixed paella:           

  • First Prize                $ 250
  • Second Prize           $ 150
  • Third Prize               $ 100

Sponsored Award:

Sponsors  will have the right to grant a special award on behalf of his firm or company.


If you are interested in becoming a New Jersey Paella Cook-off contestant you can reach Mayda Alfonso at 201-471-1329 or at  As soon as you contact us we will send you an application.