Wednesday, 10 July 2019 20:26

How Paella Came to Fair Haven and Upstate’s Biggest Bash of Summer

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How Paella Came to Fair Haven and Upstate’s Biggest Bash of Summer Submitted photo

When Oswego, NY native Dr. Chris Colloca traveled to Spain over 10 years ago and experienced a neighborhood paella party, he thought how much fun it would be to throw a paella feast for friends and family back home.

Immediately upon his return, he ordered three huge paella pans from Spain and commissioned J&A Mechanical in Oswego to build their stands.

The first party was thrown the next year. Now, 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 to Colloca Estate Winery. The winery is a pristine 100-acre property on the west side of Little Sodus Bay in Fair Haven, New York and with its Lake Effect Vineyard® features a tasting room, outdoor wine bar, wood fired kitchen restaurant, and weddings and events venue.

Each year, Spanish paella is cooked on these three 42” monster pans that serve over 100 people each on the shores along the southern coast of Lake Ontario. 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.

Colloca’s iteration of the Paella recipe kicks it up several notches to include meat and seafood paellas that have chicken, Andouille sausage, shrimp, mussels, littleneck clams, and lobster, along with about 1,000 pounds of ingredients and finished with imported saffron, smoked and sweet paprika and other spices.

Here’s a sampling of what Colloca Estate’s Chef is putting into the Paella this year:

  • 100 lbs of Bomba Rice imported from Valencia, Spain,
  • 200 lbs of Chicken,
  • 80 lbs of Andouille Sausage,
  • 150 lbs of Shrimp,
  • 3,000 Nova Scotia Quahog Littleneck Clams,
  • 500 lbs of Lobster,
  • 3,000 Mussels,
  • 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,
  • 200 Lemons, and
  • 5 lbs of Parsley

This year, the Seafood Paella comes garnished with a 1/2 lobster on top!

There’s FREE admission to the grounds and visitors can party and feast on authentic paellas, sip on Sangria, Colloca's award winning wines, cold craft beers and enjoy LIVE MUSIC with Syracuse’s favorite, Grupo Pagan and then CNY 80's Rockers, Off the Reservation all afternoon and evening.

Paella will be sold by the plate served from 1 pm - 6 pm or until gone.

You can SAVE 10% on pre-sale paella plate tickets online at until Friday at Noon.

  • Deluxe Seafood (chicken, andouille, shrimp, mussels, clams, and ½ Lobster): $28 ($25 presale online)
  • Meat (chicken, pork, andouille): $20 ($18 presale online)
  • Vegetarian: $20 ($18 presale online)

It’s the 10th Annual Fair Haven BayFest® held this Saturday, July 13th starting at 1:00 p.m. This is Upstate’s biggest Summer Bash and the chance to enjoy authentic Spanish meat and seafood paellas!

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