Deputy superhero's panoramic vision

12th March 2004 at 00:00
A twirl in a phone booth turned Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent into Superman. A quick spin transformed Diana Prince, a dowdy nurse, into Wonderwoman. And Wynn Rees, mild-mannered deputy head of King Edward VI school in Bury St Edmunds also has an alter ego. His name? Mr Paella.

By day, Mr Rees is just another member of senior management. By night, he is a sultan of saffron rice.

"It's just a hobby, I suppose," says Mr Rees, a music teacher with a "passion for all things Spanish". But the website he set up two years ago to provide equipment for the British paella-making scene (www.paellaplus.homestead.com) has mushroomed in a big way.

"I have contact with a person who runs a paella pan factory in Spain and someone who has a terracotta business - we've supplied catering colleges and we regularly have tapas bars ringing up," says Mr Rees, whose mightiest pans measure about a metre in diameter and can cater for up to 50 people in one sitting.

When he is not selling pans, Mr Rees is making his own huge paellas, and he once fed the 60-strong entourage of a Tanzanian bishop on a visit to his school.

"It makes different demands on me," he says. "I find it relaxing after the stresses and strains of being a deputy in a big school."

So, is Mr Rees just a flash in the pan? The Diary is eager to learn of other teachers out there with similarly extraordinary sidelines.

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