Sherry 101 with Adam Alexis Short of Ambiente Tapas
Describe sherry in 3 words: Perfect in Sunshine
How did you first find Sherry, or how did Sherry first find you? I first discovered sherry when I came to Ambiente as a chef three years ago, I was surprised at the range of sherries and it's wonderful Spanish history.
Why do you think that sherry is a great drink for today’s food loving audience? As food tastes develop and grow, I think people are realising that sherry matches very well with so many different foods and is very versatile in today's market.
How does Sherry inspire you when pairing it with food? It brings out different and new flavours in food that a lot of wines can't, making it the chef's choice every time!
How do you like to serve sherry at your restaurants? Ice-cold and lots of it!
What is the most surprising Sherry match you’ve come across? In Ambiente we paired curry-spiced hake with pea puree and Amontillado. I never thought the sherry could handle such a spice!
What are your top food and sherry pairing recommendations for:
Manzanilla & Fino: Creme fraiche, mahon & spring onion coquettes with piquilo pepper ketchup. The freshness of the creme fraiche balances perfectly with the crisp, refreshing Fino.
Amontillado: Josper roasted quail, charred sweetcorn and shallot salad topped with hens egg. This well rounded sherry can hold it's own against the strong smoked flavours of our Josper grill!
Oloroso: Spiced oxtail & bacon jam with celeriac puree. The deep caramel flavours compliment the rich slow cooked oxtail and bring out the spices we use to marinate the meat overnight.
PX: There's nothing better than pouring this already too-sweet sherry wine over simple vanilla ice-cream!
Where’s your favourite sherry spot and why? Ambiente Leeds on our balcony that overlooks the River Aire on a lazy Sunday afternoon
What was your most memorable sherry moment? Dining al fresco on a roof-top terrace in the south of Spain!
Who would you most like to share a sherry with, dead or alive? Heston Blumenthal, he loves and appreciates a good sherry and we definitely have that in common!