Paella Challenge Brings Celeb Chefs to CIA San Antonio
The third annual Paella Challenge brought well known chefs from around the United States and Latin America to the CIA’s San Antonio campus in March. More than 2,000 people enjoyed live music and dance while watching a good-natured battle to benefit CIA scholarships and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education and Leadership Fund.
There were 21 competitors, including former Top Chef contestants and other celebrity chefs, some of whom have never made paella professionally before. But they were all willing to put their reputations on the line for a good cause.
This year’s winner was James Canter of Alhambra Restaurant in McAllen, TX. Third place went to Peter Holt ’97, a founder of the 12-unit Lupe Tortilla restaurants, which began in Houston and now has a location in San Antonio.
The event is the brainchild of CIA grad Johnny Hernandez ’89, owner of La Gloria Ice House restaurant, which is adjacent to the CIA campus at Pearl Brewery in San Antonio. In three years, Hernandez has raised $70,000 for scholarships through the Paella Challenge!
“The energy and passion (Hernandez displays) towards educating our youth in the culinary arts cannot be quantified,” CIA San Antonio Managing Director David Kellaway told SavorSA.