IX Copa Jerez

The International Competition

Copa Jerez is the bi-annual International Competition of Gastronomy and Sherry Pairing that invites chef and sommelier teams seven countries (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, UK and US) around the world to devise the best possible haute-cuisine menu paired with Sherry wines.



Members of the team from each country are a chef and a sommelier currently engaged at a running restaurant (it could also be a catering company or similar). There is no obligation for both participants to work at the same establishment.

The participant establishments shall provide proof to the Organization of the Sherry wines and Manzanilla featuring in their wine lists.

The Sommelier

During the competition, the sommelier will be required to prepare the wines to be served, being responsible for the correctness of the serving temperature and glassware, the presentation of the wine bottles... In addition, the sommelier shall serve the Sherry wines to the members of the jury providing a detailed description of the wine chosen and explaining the reasons for the pairing with each dish.

The Chef

During the competition, the Chef will prepare the dishes to be served alongside each Sherry wine with the exclusive help of the soumiller, supported by staff from the Organization on minor tasks such as handing over utensils, finding equipement, washing-up, etc.

In addition, the chef will present the menu to the jury providing a detailed description of each of the proposed recipes and explaining the reasons why the food, flavours and textures pair so well with the respective Sherry wine chosen.

IX Copa Jerez

The Competition

The purpose of the competition is to devise a three-course meal with the proviso that Sherry wines from the “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry” and “Manzanilla-Sanlucar de Barrameda” Designation of Origin must feature as the paired wine for each course and to present it to the jury. The total cost of preparing each menu should not exceed € 70, including ingredients and wines (one glass of wine per pairing).


Wines and Raw Materials

The wines

The contestants are totally free to select each of the three Sherry wines to be paired, noting that each team may use a maximum of two labels per bodega.

Each sommelier shall communicate its selection to the Organization at least two months prior to the competition. Three 75 cl. bottles of each selected wine (or equivalent if different bottle sizes) will be provided to the team to be used during the competition in Jerez.


Participants are allowed to bring their own ingredients if so wished or needed.

Furthermore, specific market ingredients may be available upon request. For this purpose, a detailed, written list of required ingredients must be provided to the organizer.

Rules for preparation and presentation

All preparation work, cooking and setting of the dishes, must be done on the day of the competition. In the case that a particular ingredient requires any kind of preliminary preparation (marinated ingredients, very long cooking times, etc.) which cannot be prepared during the time stipulated for the competition, this shall be reported to the organizers at least one month prior to the competition. Acceptance of preliminary preparations shall be confirmed after consultation with the technical supervisor of the competition.

Kitchen facilities, cooking equipment and all sorts of cooking tools will be provided to the participants by the Organization, as well as complete tableware service. Nevertheless, participants are free to bring specific tools, kitchen or tableware if needed. Chefs requiring very specific instruments or equipment are requested to check availability with the Organization well in advance

Tasting dishes to be prepared:

The number of portions to be prepared will depend on the number of the members of the jury, with one extra portion for the photography.

Presentation to the judges

The cooking stations for each team and their performing order will be decided by a draw to be done in front of the competing teams. However, the Organization reserves the right to modify that order in case it is considered necessary for logistical reasons / or use of the equipment.

The presentations will take place throughout the morning in alternating order by teams and according to the order of the draw: the three starters, the three main dishes and the three desserts.

During the competition, each team will have a maximum of three hours to complete and present its paired menu to the jury. In addition, and in accordance with the timetable established, each combination of dish and Sherry wine must be ready for presentation within intervals of 55 minutes (50 min. for cooking and 5 min. for setting the dishes), so that all eight teams complete their presentations of the first dish, followed by the second one and finally the dessert. 

Service to the judges:

The sommelier will serve the wine to the judges before the arrival of the food.

Thereupon the dishes will be served to each judge, for which the teams will have two waiting staff at their disposal either provided by the Hotel and Catering School or the organisers.

Changes between one service and the next (plates, glasses etc.) will be carried out by staff provided by the Hotel and Catering School or the organisers.

Presentation to the judges:

Presentations to the jury can be done in either Spanish or English, with translation available for members of the jury.

Each team will be allowed a maximum of 10 minutes to present each proposed pairing to the members of the jury. During this time they shall:

  • Present and explain the dish (chef)
  • Serve and explain in detail the wine chosen (sommelier)
  • Describe and justify the food & wine pairing (both)
  • Answer questions from the members of the jury (both)
  • Delays over the indicated maximum times will be penalized in the final punctuation, even to the extent of the disqualification of the team.


Wines will be tasted in Riedel glasses -official partner to this event-, the Chianti model (or similar), provided by the Organization.


The winners in each category of the IX Copa Jerez International Final will be announced at the award ceremony which will take place on 10 November. 

The IX Copa Jerez International Final will grant prizes in the following categories:

  • Grand Trophy Copa Jerez, for the best Food & Sherry pairing menu
  • Juli Soler Award to the Best sommelier
  • Best Chef
  • Best Starter Sherry Pairing
  • Best Main Course Sherry Pairing
  • Best Dessert Sherry Pairing
  • Most Creative Sherry Pairing

Each of the winning teams in their respective category will receive a trophy, as well as various special Sherry wines.

Furthermore, the overall champion will gain a trip to Spain including a VIP dinner at “El Celler de Can Roca”, the acclaimed 3-Michelin-Star restaurant in Girona.