THE PAELLA CLUB STORY
Alex Betolaza is the personification of the story behind The Paella Club. He was born in the Basque Country (País Vasco), a region that is known for its culinary highlights, both reflected in the world famous pintxos (“toothpick-tapas”) and the multitude of Michelin star restaurants.
An unknown fact to many people: Basque Country is the only region in Spain where men take place behind the stove as part of their cultural heritage. Private cooking clubs where all members are male are called txokos.
Alex tooks his roots with him on a journey leading him to London, Los Angeles and Miami, where he worked in various trendy restaurants. As soon as people heard he was from Spain, they asked him about the secrets of a great paella. This planted a seed…
He developed the idea of a cool place breathing as Los Angeles, but reflected Spain. He didn’t want to open a cooking school, nor a restaurant. He wanted to bring a full experience of discovering fresh ingredients, interactive cooking, and dining in a cool place where dishes are shared.
When Alex moved to Barcelona, he used the “ingredients” of LA and Miami, the interest in the paella, and his knowledge of fresh produce to stir up The Paella Club.
Originally from Canada, Alex combines his Mexican and Spanish roots with a cosmopolitan flair to create his signature spin on classic mediterranean cuisine.
Alex has a deep history in food, and accomplishing much at a young age, starting with being the first North American student accepted to the famous Basque Culinary Centre, where he spent four years honing his craft.
After BCC, Alex accepted a position at the world famous Noma restaurant in Denmark, where he made such an impression over his two years there that led to his role as part of the team which set, coordinated and opened a Noma pop-up experience in Mexico.
After a few noteworthy stops in Barcelona, Alex accepted the lead role with The Paella Club to share his wealth of knowledge and experience to those who enjoy the cooking classes!