Rules of Engagement – Austin Texas

Paella Lovers United – Austin Texas Rules of Engagement 2021.

TEAMS – Please Read This Section Thoroughly Before Signing-Up! This List is Subject to Change
(Last Update September 26, 2021)

Thank you for your interest in Paella Lovers United. An Austin,Texas-based paella group. If you are interested in becoming a team contestant, here are the guidelines we are requesting.


Rules of Engagement: Quick Version

  1. Teams agree to pay a $35 (+ service fee) non-refundable, registration fee. Only one (1) Team Bundle per team allowed.
  2. Teams agree to have no more than three team members whose entry is included in the non-refundable fee.
  3. Teams agree they may pay a discounted rate upon receiving a DISCOUNT CODE for up to three additional helpers and that NO un-ticketed helpers will be allowed into the event.
  4. Teams agree to use a minimum size pan of 26.” Larger pans highly encouraged.
  5. Teams agree to do most basic prep offsite, in advance.
  6. Teams agree to prepare paellas with their own propane/burner assembly and provide their own prep tables, chairs, and complete cooking equipment.
  7. Teams agree to adhere to the start and end times assigned. (1st heat teams must clear out immediately after Presentation Time to allow 2nd heat team access).
  8. Teams agree and acknowledge that all competition paellas belong to the event and are intended to be served to the judges and the public.
  9. Teams agree to read through the judging criteria in advance of the event
  10. Teams agree to be properly registered and have a valid and working email.

Rules of Engagement: Detailed Version

Paella Lovers United reserve the right to eliminate any team not abiding by the Rules of Engagement or engaging in unsafe, unhealthy, unsanitary or unruly conditions or practice.  Paella Lovers United also reserves the right to add or substitute Teams at their discretion (i.e, Standby Teams, etc).

Please remember that this is still a community style event. Competition is lively, but certainly friendly. There will be close interaction with other teams and patrons. Embrace them as we are family.

  1. Team Entry Fee
    There is a small $35 (+ service fee) non-refundable fee per team for competing. Please note that: One (1) and only one (1) Team Bundle per team is allowed. Any additional Team Bundle purchases will be refunded wherein any refunded tickets will become NULL and VOID and will NOT be accepted at the gate. There is considerable expense in putting on this event, including venue rental, setup, nonprofit sponsor contributions, wood, and other expenses. We hope you understand. If you would like more information regarding this, please contact us at can be made through EventBrite as seen on the website: > TEAM > REGISTRATION
  2. Team Members
    A team is a collective group dedicated to making and presenting a paella for the event. Nobody may purchase a Team Bundle entry and not have a competition paella. Each team is allowed a maximum of 3 core members. All team members entry fees will be included with the team deposit. All three team members will be  issued an e-ticket to enter.  Up to three additional Helpers may make use of the Team Special Promo Code (see item 3). Any team tickets purchased without having an actual team, either competing or non-competing, will NOT be valid and will be denied entry at the gate. Upon signup and payment, you will receive an email confirmation from Eventbrite along with your 3 Team Member e-tickets.   You MUST bring copies of your e-tickets to the event.  This will allow three (3) and only three team core members to participate as a team.
  3. Team Helpers
    Once again, we are offering a Special Promo Code for half price entry for up to three (3) additional team Helpers per team. (Helps for those with significant others to cheer them on).  After team registration and payment, you will be issued a special promo code to purchase these tickets at a discount. All other team supporters, family members, and friends, will be subject to the regular event entry
    Teams are required to provide their own Paella pans and highly recommends they provide their own trivets (PLU trivets will still be on-hand on a limited basis) – 26 inch (65cm) minimum required. Larger Pans are highly encouraged (Due to the extra difficulty, extra bonus points will be awarded for pans larger than 26″).   FYI: A 26 inch pan can feed approximately 19 – 25 people. For sizing, etc see: Teams are strongly encouraged to label/tag their pans (i.e, flameproof clips, small lock, permanent marker, etc) and other equipment for identification purposes. Paella Lovers United is not responsible for lost or stolen items.Teams not meeting pan size requirements will be disqualified.There are a number of excellent websites which provide pans and their paella related material. Here are a few, but there are many more available online:
    Basic food prep should be done offsite. All actual cooking of paella ingredients must be done onsite. Stocks may be prepared in advance. However, Sofrito must be made onsite. Above and beyond all else, ALL food prep and serving must be done in a CLEAN, SAFE and SANITARY manner. All meats, seafood, protein products must be properly contained and refrigerated as necessary prior to the actual making of the dish. Foods must be properly cooked and prepared in the manner that the food and/or dish calls for.  No raw seafood, etc. Any unsanitary setups can and will be dis-qualified. Teams should plan on bringing their own prep tables, stools, chairs, trivets, etc… A list of the items Paella Lovers United will provide on site is below as well as list of suggested items to bring
    NO OPEN WOOD FIRES FOR 2021. Sorry, but all competition paellas must be prepared using team provided, commercial grade Propane Burners and Stands. Teams will be responsible for controlling and regulating their own site. *NO* unsafe practices will be allowed. Team members and helpers must act with safety for themselves and others around burners. Teams with children must keep their loved ones away from all open flames.
    Teams will be assigned their own pit-area. Each team will have a total of 2 1/2 hours on their allocated pit-area, including set-up, cooking, clean up and clear out time. Teams must provide their own propane burners, stands and cooking equipment. They must also provide their own tables, chairs, cleaning and sanitation. At the end of your allotted time period, you will need to be completely cleared out for the next group of teams. Points will be deducted for teams who run late.

    “Pans Up” ready times are: 
    Pans Up Time     Cook Time                  Clear Out Time (site clean and cleared)
    • 1:00 pm     10:30 am – 1:00 pm         1:00 pm (1st Heat Teams MUST clear their space by 1:00 sharp to make room for 2nd Heat Teams)
    • 3:30 pm       1:00 pm – 3:30 pm         6:00 pm (second heat teams are allowed to stay longer).
    Teams must clean-up their pit-area and prep areas and make way for the next wave of teams immediately upon their “Ready” time.
    • All pans will be pre-assigned numbered using handle clips as provided by PLU. The Team Captain MUST make sure their team pan has their preassigned number clipped to the handle.
    • At pans-up, all teams should be ready to parade to the judging and service tables. Volunteer “Pit Bosses” will guide this process. Pans should be placed on the tables next to the corresponding team name indicators or Placards. PLU will provide team name placards.
    • Judges will quickly sample and move to a private location to critique the paellas.
    • Volunteer servers will serve one plate of paella to each team. Teams should not plan on serving any of the paella they make.
    • Volunteers will be responsible for serving the paellas to the public. This is to ensure the lines flow quickly and help avoid bottlenecks.
    • After serving, all numbered pans will be returned to the Team Captain.
    There are numerous varieties of paella. However, the competition will be grouped into two broad categories:
    • Traditional
      will be judged on how well the dish represents the true to form Spanish traditions
    • Keep Paella Weird
      is everything else. The variety is endless and we encourage creativity

      Judging will be based on a pre-defined set of criteria. Items such as quality of the rice, texture, caramelization, presentation, etc. However, teams are encouraged to be creative in line with the spirit of the event. This criteria is available from the website: >  TEAMS > JUDGING CRITERION
    Each team is required to have a team name and team captain for contact purposes. Team Captain is responsible for organizing, communicating with the event planners and keeping their team on schedule and in line with the rules of engagement.

    Each team MUST also have a VALID and WORKING email address for e-ticketing and communication purposes. It is the responsibility of the Team Captain to ensure communication with the event.  Please check email Inboxes and SPAM boxes.  Paella Lovers United will not be responsible for missed communication. It would be helpful if the team captain would also provide email addresses for their team members to facilitate communication.

What Paella Lovers United will provide:

  • Pre-assigned pit-areas (roughly 10 feet by 10 feet), tents and pan number indicators.
  • Pre-assigned judging and serving areas, along with volunteer servers to the crowd.
  • Prizes for teams (to be determined).

How to Sign up:

  • Visit the website at > TEAMS > REGISTRATION and follow the instructions and fill-in are requested information including team name, contact info, etc. If your READY TIME is available, you can have it. Otherwise, we will try to assign the next closest time. Please remember that there is a $35 non-refundable deposit which can also be paid through the website.
  • You will be contacted for confirmation, team check-in procedures, parking, unloading and we will available to answer questions via email prior to the event.