Paella demonstration means free food

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 Illustrations by Ansley Lewis

Illustrations by Ansley Lewis

Epicurean educator will prepare a Spanish meal for International Education Week.

By Anthony B. Botello

A local caterer and former Spanish adjunct will cook and serve Paella Valencia, a traditional dish from Spain, at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria of Loftin Student Center.

Robert Kniseley will give the free cooking demonstration as part of this college’s 2014 International Education Week, Nov. 17-21, sponsored by the department of language, philosophy and culture.

“It’s fun to watch, and when you’re through, you have enough food for a party,” said Kniseley, a retired high school Spanish teacher who also has taught Spanish and ESLA at this college.

Kniseley, a part-time cook and caterer, will hand out samples after his hourlong demonstration.

Similar to gumbo or a large casserole, paella is made by simmering rice with seafood or meat in a large pan.

In Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, “paella” is the word for the pan in which this unique casserole is cooked. Ingredients vary from region to region, but the dish typically includes rice, green vegetables, meat, snails and beans, cooked to the golden-yellow color of saffron.

“Saffron gives it its unique flavor,” Kniseley said.

Kniseley’s paella will contain mussels, shrimp, sausage and chicken.

“It’s not vegetarian, but it is gluten free,” he said.

Dr. Amy F. Whitworth, chair of the department of language, philosophy and culture, said the week is an “introduction of other cultures, and a celebration of those cultures.”

“International Education Week is about enhancing people’s understanding about people’s cultures,” she said.

A list of other International Education Week events can be found at


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