I love Sherry Wines

The 4th edition of the Copa Jerez food and wine competition, held this week in the Jerez Hospitality School, ended in victory for the Spanish team made up of chef Cayetano Gómez and sommelier Juan Luis García, representatives from the Murcia restaurant Casablanca El Taller. This is the first time Spain has won the competition, which is organised by the Regulating Council for DOs Jerez-Xerès-Sherry and Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Fedejerez, and which aims to give more international scope to the region’s wines by exploiting their food pairing possibilities.

The team from Casablanca El Taller won three of the six awards given by the jury, which was made up of representatives from the world of food and wine, including Juli Soler, owner and manager of the legendary restaurant, El Bulli, as well as sommelier at the Noma restaurant, Pontus Elofsson, award-winning Spanish chef, Julián Serrano, manager of the Picasso restaurant at the Velaggio Hotel in Las Vegas, and UK Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson. The Spanish team won in the categories ‘Best menu-pairing’, ‘Best dessert pairing’ and ‘Best chef’ competing against five other teams from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the US, and Holland.

The pairing menu created by Cayetano Gómez and Juan Luis García entailed a starter of charcoal-grilled marinated oyster paired with an Amontillado, while the main course was shoulder of glazed suckling lamb on toasted almond cream paired with a sweet Oloroso VOS, and for dessert a cocoa and peppermint sorbet with ‘coffee cubes’ over date curd cream paired with a Pedro Ximénez VOS.

The award for ‘Best starter pairing’ was won by the team from the Danish restaurant Kiin Kiin, made up of chef Anton Ulrik Christian Eff and sommelier, Henrik Yde-Andersende, for their creation ‘mini corn with caviar’. Anton participated in the first Programme for Young Foreign Chefs in Spanish Gastronomy. In addition, chef Rogér Rassin and sommelier Ronald Opten, from the Dutch restaurant La Rive scooped the award for ‘Best main course pairing’, with their pork cheeks with carrots, potatoes and cloves, paired with an Amontillado. And lastly, the US team from the Colorado restaurant, The Broadmoor, made up of chef Bertrand Bouquin and sommelier Tim Baldwin won the award for ‘Best sommelier’.

The event, which was held in the Jerez Hospitality School, was the culmination of a endeavour which began three years ago, in which the teams taking part had to scoop the winning prize in their own countries before going to Jerez to take part in the final. Juli Soler, the manager at El Bulli and this edition’s chairman of the jury, highlighted the quality, creativity and daring shown by the participants in a competition he rated as “exceptional”.

cr/wines from Spain
I just love Sherry wines

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