Saturday, July 6, 2013

Paella Cooking Classes at Jaleo

Jaleo's 11th Annual Paella Festival, a two-week event (July 29th through August 11th) featuring paella specials and a unique cocktail that will be available during lunch and dinner service, is still about a month away, but fans of paella (or fans of cooking in general) can already make plans to continue the paella celebrations after August 11th by signing up for one of the four remaining exclusive paella cooking classes offered at Jaleo Bethesda.

Led by Head Chef James Gee, guests of the exclusive paella classes will learn to make one of the most iconic dishes of the world in a hands on-experience. The remaining four sessions will be held on July 30th, August 27th, September 24th, and October 29th (all Tuesdays) from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. We stopped by the first class in the series on June 25th, and can tell you that for $65.00 per person (not including tax and gratuity), you will enjoy sangria while cooking in the kitchen, wine while you enjoy two finished products at the dinner table (you cook two different paella dishes, and during my class, we cooked one veggie and one seafood paella), dessert, and of course, boundless knowledge from Chef James Gee, who is more than willing to answer each and every question the guests have, so make sure you have some good questions ready. 

We don't want to spoil the fun of the cooking class by sharing too many of Chef Gee's cooking tips, but we will tell you that in the class you'll learn:

1) What type(s) of rice to use

2) The order to cook the ingredients to bring out the most flavor from each of the different ingredients
(throwing all the ingredients in a crockpot together won't quite meet the Chef's standards)

Veggie Paella                                         

Seafood Paella

A few guests put the finishing touches on our seafood paella by arranging the shrimp and mussels in a lovely display. 

3) The important of the size, and orientation, of the pan

Despite what the picture below may make you believe, Chef Gee is not a wizard (but you'd really think he knows magic by the way he cooks paella). He is simply explaining how important a level pan is in cooking paella to ensure everything cooks uniformly. 

After our cooking lesson from Chef Gee, we moved from the kitchen to the dining room to enjoy our veggie and seafood paellas. 

We ended our meal with a delicious flan.

If you would like to join in on cooking paella with Chef Gee inside the kitchen at Jaleo Bethesda, send an email to or call (301) 913-0003.

Before you take the next class on July 30th, or any month thereafter, make sure to attend the Paella Festival kickoff celebration at Jaleo Crystal City on July 29th from 6 pm to 8pm.

Guests will enjoy complimentary paella and cocktails to welcome the return of paella season. The event is open to the public with a suggested donation of $20.00 to benefit World Central Kitchen.  Reservations can be made by emailing

Jaleo on Urbanspoon

No comments: