Each year, Spanish paella is cooked on three 42” monster pans that serve over 100 people each on the shores of Little Sodus Bay in Fair Haven. Paella (PIE-A-YA), a traditional Spanish rice dish hailing from Valencia, Spain can be prepared in many ways. Historically considered peasant food, the rice is simply prepared together with chicken and peas or beans or along with local game, such as rabbit in small villages in Spain. In the many variations of the dish, seafood is added along with the local catch of the day.
Here is the story of how Paella came to the Fair Haven Bayfest!
When Oswego, NY native Dr. Chris Colloca traveled to Spain and experienced a neighborhood paella party he immediately thought how much fun it would be to throw a paella feast for friends and family. Thus, the inspiration for the paella party arriving in Central New York. He ordered the huge pans from Spain and commissioned J&A Mechanical in Oswego to build their stands.
The first party was thrown 10 years ago. A decade later, the event has been named, Fair Haven BayFest® Paella on the Bay-a, and draws hundreds of food fanatics from across Central New York and further at Colloca Estate Winery, a pristine 100-acre property on the west side of Little Sodus Bay in Fair Haven, NY that features a tasting room, outdoor wine bar, wood fired kitchen restaurant, and weddings and events venue.
Colloca’s iteration of the Paella recipe kicks it up several notches to include meat and seafood paellas that include chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, mussels, littleneck clams, and lobster, and included about 1,000 lbs of ingredients along with imported saffron, smoked and sweet paprika and other spices:
100 lbs of Bomba Rice imported from Valencia, Spain
200 lbs of Chicken
150 lbs of Shrimp
3,000 Nova Scotia Quahog Littleneck Clams
500 lbs of Lobster
80 lbs of Andouille Sausage
60 lbs of Local Onions
100 lbs of Tomatoes
40 lbs of Green Peppers
40 lbs of Red Peppers
40 lbs of Orange and Yellow Peppers
40 lbs of Peas
5 lbs of Parsley