Fresh Take Blog

Giant Paella Tradition Returns to Market with Chef José Andrés x FRESHFARM

Jun. 30, 2023

When Chef José Andrés offered to make paella at market as part of the 30th-anniversary celebration of Jaleo by José Andrés, FRESHFARM’s answer was an obvious and resounding yes. Chef José has been an incredible supporter of our mission over the years, and creating a giant paella from fresh market ingredients is a cherished José X FRESHFARM tradition we were happy to revive.

Paella Party

On June 25th, Chef José Andrés and his restaurant team crafted a trio of massive, delicious paellas at our flagship FRESHFARM Dupont Circle Market. The paellas featured local market ingredients delivered in advance to the Jaleo chefs from FRESHFARM’s Pop-Up Food Hub.

The weather was glorious, and the energy was palpable as throngs of shoppers watched and waited for a taste of the vegan paella. Three FRESHFARM FoodPrints students joined the Jaleo kitchen team and chef friends from Spain to help prepare the paella, studded with early summer veggies and topped with squash blossoms and classic Spanish alioli. The crowd demolished over 600 samples in record time.

A Time-Honored Partnership

This celebration honored FRESHFARM’s long-standing partnership with our friend Chef José Andrés and our shared core belief in the power of food to transform and uplift communities. Since 1993 for Chef José and 1997 for FRESHFARM, these two DC institutions have been making the District more delicious with each passing year and have become food movement leaders, with Chef José becoming an internationally respected humanitarian, and FRESHFARM becoming the largest food system nonprofit in the Mid-Atlantic.

Our shared histories run deep. Chef José shopped at the Dupont Circle market for the very first meals he made for his infant daughters, formed profound friendships with the farmers and growers that filled his table, and quickly became part of the FRESHFARM family and one of our greatest allies and supporters. In 2011, his support helped build the first FoodPrints teaching kitchen at Watkins Elementary. And thanks to a generous donation from Chef José last year, FoodPrints reached 19 schools across Washington, DC.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the demo and to the entire José Andrés Group for your hospitality, generosity, and unflagging support. And if you missed this epic cooking event, fear not. Find the vegetable paella recipe here!

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