The Baja California Provino Committee held this Sunday, August 21, the traditional Paella Contest “Dr. Ramón García Ocejo” that marks the closing of the 25-day celebrations of the Grape Harvest Festival in Ensenada in its thirty-second edition.
Thanks to the reactivation of food and wine experiences in the entity, the almost 2,500 attendees gathered had the opportunity to taste more than 150 wine labels from 76 wineries in the valleys of Baja California, which were divided into two color zones at the event, blue and orange, both sheltered by oaks over 120 years old, thus allowing you to enjoy a pleasant country afternoon.
In the same way, the public was able to try the paellas made by the 86 participating teams, the vast majority of which are made up of families from Ensenada and who for generations have maintained a place in the competition, becoming a tradition. The jury was in charge of the Gastronomic and Paelleros Association of Baja California, A.C. (AGAPE), headed by Roberto Pou, with 35 judges who qualified the teams by color zones and times, taking into account a coding mechanism to maintain the anonymity of the contestants and thus determine by scores the best presentation of the paella and the quality according to the organoleptic characteristics (color, appearance, flavor, and texture), all having to be cooked in dishes of the same size, with the same amount of rice and firewood.
The musical part was on two stages, with the participation of local talent from various genres, such as Grupo Comisario, La Big Kahuna, Back to Front, and DJ Aarón Salcedo. For their part, those in charge of closing with a flourish by making the entire audience dance were the DJ sets of Amy Raygoza and Mariano Marchena (Social) and Iván López (Loquera Tradición).
In this 2022 edition, tribute was paid to the great pillars of the contest. At the entrance to the venue, Provino Baja California set up an exhibition explaining who Dr. Ramón García Ocejo† was and why the event bears his name, as well as a small Hall of Fame with the winning teams in the 2010 “Quality” category to 2019. In the same way, representatives of AGAPE paid a small tribute in honor of Dr. Javier Viniegra, who died in January of this year, who was its President and for the last 20 years a leading judge, awarding a plaque of recognition to his family which produced a very emotional moment before the award ceremony.
For his part, Mauricio Cantú Barajas, President of Provino said: “We are very happy to be able to have you together today, again in Viña de Liceaga, in this family event with strong roots in Ensenada, to taste excellent wines and find out which was the best afternoon paella thanks to the hard work of the participants and judges present here.”
The winners of the “Quality” category are:
2. Rich Tuesday
3. Paella Malaga
5. The Lantern
The winners of the “Presentation” category are:
2. The Castanets
3. Kraken Paellas
4. King David
5. The Friends of Don Rol
“We congratulate all the winners and we thank all of you again for allowing us to continue celebrating the Grape Harvest Festival together in Ensenada,” concluded Cantú Barajas. Without a doubt, it was a pleasant afternoon where the attendees were able to enjoy a great variety of white, rosé, and red wines in monovarietal and blends with grape varieties from the valleys of Baja California, endorsing the quality that is produced in the most important wine region of the country.