The Paella Club | Paella Chef
Paella Cooking Class, Barcelona Events, Learn to make Paella, How to make paella, paella in barcelona, paella class, cooking class,
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The Team

Meet The Paella Masters

Alex Betolaza

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. There are even private cooking clubs where all members are male, where are called txokos.


Alex remained true to his roots during his life journey which lead him to London, Los Angeles and Miami, where he worked in various trendy restaurants. While abroad, Alex noticed an reoccurring phenomena: as soon as people heard he was from Spain, they asked him about the secrets of a great paella. This is where the idea first began.


Alex began to develop an idea of creating a space in Los Angeles that could reflect and share the beauty of Spanish cuisine and culture. Not a cooking school, nor a restaurant. Instead, he aspired to provide individuals with a true gastronomic experience where they could discover fresh ingredients, take part in interactive cooking, and have a shared dining experience in a breathtaking environment.


Returning back to his Spanish roots, Alex moved to Barcelona, where he used his background and knowledge, or shall we say the “ingredients” LA and Miami, his interest in the paella, and his knowledge of fresh produce to stir-up what is now The Paella Club.

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Alex Villar

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!