José Garcés celebrates 10 years of Amada with paella festival
It’s been 10 years since José Garcés opened his first restaurant, Amada, in Philadelphia, and to celebrate it, the chef hosted a paella festival on Sunday, in which his locally based restaurants competed for the best version of this Spanish dish.
Hundreds of people who gathered for the block party in Old City, on the parking lot on 2nd Street between Market and Chestnut, got to try them all and be the judges, while enjoying a flamenco performance and staying warm drinking hot toddies from Village Whiskey and drinks from Buena Onda
Some of the restaurants opted for a more traditional but unique approach, like Amada with a “Paella de Cordero,” with braised lamb shank, lamb sausage and roasted lamb broth, or The Olde Bar, which served a “Paella Donostia,” with house cured Iberico Bilbao and jumbo lump crab.
Others did a fusion of their own, like Distrito with a mole Poblano and duck paella; Garces Trading Company with a “Coq au Vin” paella with truffled rice and confit chicken wings; or Volvér, which surprised with a “Kimchi Paella” with grilled pork, spareribs, radish, cucumber cilantro and lime.
Vegetarians got to enjoy a carrot paella from JG Domestic, with grilled sugar snap peas, served with sourdough and salsa verde.
The judge’s choice went to Tinto’s “Paella Dehesa”, with Iberico pork cheek, pickle and chicharron, while the people’s choice went to Garces Events, for its paella with sofrito, little neck clam and mussel escabeche, chorizo verde and pimento aioli.