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Fire Up The Paella: New Catering Company Opens In Fairfield

Chef Glenn Michael Tatangelo has opened the newest location of Fire & Rice in Fairfield.
Chef Glenn Michael Tatangelo has opened the newest location of Fire & Rice in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Submitted

FAIRFIELD, Conn.— If you like paella, you're going to love the offerings at the new Fire & Rice in Fairfield.

The catering company, headed by culinary entrepreneur and Fairfield native Glenn Michael Tatangelo, specializes in the Spanish dish which uses traditional techniques and ingredients including rice from the Valencia region of Spain as well as Spanish saffron. 

Preparing paella is part performance art as the chef mixes the ingredients over an open flame in front of guests at parties, corporate events, festivals and farmers’ markets throughout the county.

“We make paella just like Spaniards have been doing for generations,” said Tatangelo.

Families in Spain traditionally prepare seafood and meat paellas in large shallow pans over a fire outdoors during family gatherings. Fire & Rice Founder and U.S. Air Force Veteran Paul Schmidgall learned how to make paella from señoras on the Spanish island of Minorca while he was on leave from Hahn Air Base in Germany.

Tatangelo said the popularity of paella has surged as it has been featured on TV food shows. “Millennials and foodies are looking for ethnic cuisine because that’s the trend on menus and in restaurants,” he sid.

“People are more adventurous.”

To plan a paella event, email or call 203-683-8135,

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