Second annual Paella Challenge at the Pearl, and the closing of Watermark Grill

A good paella has a crust of crunchy rice at the bottom, plenty of seafood, and a saffron aroma. You’ll find plenty of the stuff at the Pearl Brewery on Sunday, March 13. The 2nd Annual Paella Challenge is back to feed the citizens of San Antonio.

The event, organized by chef Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria, has 20 chefs from Texas and beyond competing. Many of them will also be battling in a ceviche competition for the title of El Rey del Ceviche.

Chefs representing Lüke, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, Hotel Contessa, Bin 555, Il Sogno, and Azuca will compete for the paella prize. Reigning 2010 winner Ben Ford — son of Harrison! — from Ford’s Filling Station in California returns to defend his title.

Tickets are $50 online ( and $60 at the door.

Speaking of seafood, you won’t find it anymore at the Watermark Grill, the sister restaurant to Brasserie Pavil on the far north side. In an email to customers last week, the restaurant announced it is now closed.

Watermark Grill opened a year and half ago at 1604 and Stone Oak. Apparently a grand re-opening earlier this year and a new executive chef was not enough to save the enterprise.

The Watermark website states that closing the restaurant will allow management to focus on Brasserie Pavil, which has also undergone numerous overhauls, chef changes, and even a name change. It started out as Brasserie Pavil, then became Pavil Restaurant, and is now back to Brasserie Pavil.

Brasserie Pavil has been around for only a year longer than Watermark. Here’s hoping all that management focus will keep it alive.

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