Just Getting Started. Photographed by Samantha Laub for AL DÍA News. 
Just Getting Started. Photographed by Samantha Laub for AL DÍA News. 

The 'Paella Expert' Brought Christmas from The Iberian Peninsula to Philadelphia


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Felinto and Jacinta Marques of Café Liz were a dynamic, husband-and-wife power chef team at Independence LIVE! for AL DĺA’s last “Meet The Chefs Transforming Philadelphia’s Cuisine” series.

Along with their diligent and attentive cooking and “catering” crew, the Marqueses brought their love for their restaurant and their homeland to the space, which as always in our live cooking demonstration events, was at maximum capacity with a vibrant and inquisitive audience. Felinto and Jacinta asked questions about how they met, where they purchased the wine for Café Liz, and what they think the future holds for their business all while frying bacalao croquettes and slicing tender chunks of chorizo.

The main event was the paella, a dish which I had not tried before when I reviewed the restaurant and wrote pieces on Felinto. The paella was exquisite; juicy without being watery, replete with supple cuts of fish, pieces of shrimp, and saucy mussels without it being over-the-top, served in bountiful portions with glasses of white wine.

A “life hack” that I discovered and tried with Tiffany Newmuis of Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, was adding Café Liz’s special hot sauce to the paella, which kicked it up a notch with an exciting and addictive tang. 

Thanks for the shout-out!

Other than the AL DÍA news team and The Marqueses invitees, supporters, partners, and friends from Prospanica, Independence Blue Cross, and Aramark were also in attendance, such as Rosa Torres and Juan López, enjoying each other’s company and having meaningful conversations with those around them.

Even David Goldberg, an Executive Chef from The Food Network and a client of Independence Blue Cross (who coincidentally had been at their offices this Thursday and had heard of the event through Hernán Guaracao, AL DÍA's CEO), swung by and stayed the whole time, relishing every bite of the joyous evening.

David reminded us all that paella, unlike other dishes, is a social food, meaning that when paella is served, it is a cause for celebration and an experience to be shared.

Nothing could have been truer than last night’s "Chef Series", which was a merry delight and a relaxing way to get into the holiday spirit!

We’ll see all of you Philly Phoodies again in 2018! ¡Hasta luego!


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