Jerez de la Frontera, November 10, 2021.- Copa Jerez Forum & Competition 2021,the largest international event centred around Sherry Wines and avant-garde cuisine, organised by the Sherry Wine Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador de Vinos de Jerez y Manzanilla) and Fedejerez, concluded today with the awards ceremony. After an exciting IX edition of the Copa Jerez International Final held yesterday, the winner of this edition was the Belgian team, represented by sommelier Paul-Henri Cuvelier and chef Fabian Bail, from Paul de Pierre restaurant in Maarkedal.
The Belgian team’s pairing menu, comprised of the following dishes, was so convincing that the jury reached a unanimous decision.
o Starter: Mackerel, dashi, chorizo sausage, artichoke, pak choi, lovage oil, paired with
Fino Viña Corrales from Bodegas San Francisco.
o Main course: Lamb, hazelnut, celeriac and sesame purée, zucchini flower stuffed with manchego cheese, shiitake mushrooms and rosemary-infused potato confit, accompanied by Oloroso from Bodegas Gutierrez Colosía.
o Dessert: Pear in tobacco and spice syrup, lemon crémeux and goat cheese ice cream paired with Medium Old Harvest from Bodegas Ximénez-Spinola.
Likewise, the winners of the other categories were:
Juli Soler Award for Best Sommelier: Paul-Henri Cuvelier, from Belgium
Best Chef: Fabian Bail, from Belgium
Best Starter Pairing: Trout, Sherry Vinegar, celery and mushrooms, paired with Fino En Rama from Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosía, awarded to The Netherlands.
Best Main Course Pairing: Hay-aged pigeon, beetroot and blackberry, paired with Oloroso Tradición VORS 30 Years from Bodegas Tradición, awarded to Denmark.
Best Dessert Pairing:Florida goat cheesecake paired with Moscatel Dorado from Bodegas César Florido, awarded to the United States.
Best Creative Pairing: Russia, represented by sommelier Svetlana Dobrynina,of Selfie*,and chef Mark Statsenkoof Straight Fire.
The jury of the IX Copa Jerez was comprised of six professionals of international acclaim: Josep Roca, sommelier and co-owner of El Celler de Can Roca***, who presided over the panel; Quique Dacosta, owner and chef at Quique Dacosta Restaurant*** and El Poblet**; Andreas Larsson, named World’s Best Sommelier in 2007; José Pizarro,of Grupo Pizarro Restaurants; Peer Holm,president of the German Association of Sommeliers and José Carlos Capel, food critic and director of Madrid Fusión.
According toJosep Roca, “The championship turned out to be of an extraordinarily high level. We were amazed by the depth of knowledge that each of the participants had of the wineries, of all the aspects involved in food and wine pairing and also about the current trends in gastronomy and how to match them well with Sherry Wines”. In addition, he said this about the winning menu: “In many ways, it was a classic proposal but with an ability to reinterpret the scene both on the plate and in the wine glass”.
Quique Dacosta remarked that“this pairing had a twofold effect:on the one hand, it basically demonstrated a good, classic knowledge of both food and wine while there was also a didactic element that reflected an even deeper understanding--leading to discovery of the pairing and then be carried away by it. That’s where creativity and the imagination come into play, when chef and sommelier work side by side, creating an extraordinary ambience that not only dignifies the dish but also the world of wine,” adding that “we are currently at a time when the competitors themselves represent such a diversity of countries and cultures that we are getting a much broader vision of Sherry Wines.
The participating countries at the IX Copa Jerez International Final were: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia. All eight teams had to prepare their three-course pairing proposals,all of which were amazingly audacious, live onstage at the Villamarta Theatre, aiming to achieve the perfect match.
Competing against the overall winners of the competition were other seven other participating countries, with the following pairing menu proposals:
Germany – Klinker
The German team, made up of sommelier Maria Rehermann and chef and owner of Klinker inHamburg, Marianus von Hörsten, competed with the following menu:
o Starter: Porcini foam with egg yolk, jerusalem artichoke and chives, paired with Amontillado El Tresillo from Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo.
o Main course: Lamb with polenta, kalamata olives and plum, paired with Oloroso Tradición, a 30-year VORS from Bodegas Tradición.
o Dessert: Orange sabayon, caramelised chocolate and sorrel, paired with Moscatel Promesa from Bodegas Valdespino.
Denmark - Esmée and Connection by Alan Bates
The menu presented by the Danish team, sommelier Peter Pepkeof Esmée and chef Alan Batesof Connection by Alan Bates, was comprised of:
o Starter: Scallop, apple and oyster, paired with Fino La Panesa from Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo.
o Main course: Hay-aged pigeon, beetroot and blackberry, paired with Oloroso Tradición, a 30-year VORS from Bodegas Tradición.
o Dessert: 70% Rugoso short-fermentation chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream, paired with La Bota de Pedro Ximénez nº 76 Jerez from Equipo Navazos.
Spain - Venta Moncalvillo*
The team made up of sommelier Iván Sánchez and chef Juan Pablo Stefaninifrom Venta Moncalvillo*,in Daroca de Rioja (La Rioja, Spain) competed with the following menu:
o Starter: A tribute to the past: artichoke, potato and cheese, paired with Palo Cortado Apóstoles, a 30-year VORS from Bodegas González Byass.
o Main course: And yet…chard with codfish callos and cumin, paired with Palo Cortado Centenario La Saca from Colección Roberto Amillo.
o Dessert: From savoury to sweet: spinach and pine nuts, paired with Pale Cream from Bodegas Urium.
United States - Mercado Little Spain
Sommelier Jordi Paronella teamed up with chef Nicolás Lópezof New York City’s Mercado Little Spain(created by José Andrés) and competed with this menu:
o Starter: Uni tocino de Cielo with squab glaze and aromas of Manzanilla, paired with Manzanilla Fina de la Riva from Bodegas De La Riva.
o Main course: white shrimp, iberian ham consommé jelly, crispy bread, callossauce, which they paired with Amontillado del Puerto - Almacenista González Obregón from Bodegas Emilio Lustau
o Dessert: Florida goat cheesecake paired with Moscatel Dorado from Bodegas César Florido.
The Netherlands - Librije ***
The Dutch team was comprised of sommelier Sem Beks and chef Lars Aukemafrom Librije *** located in Zwolle. Their pairing menu was as follows:
o Starter: trout, Sherry Vinegar, celery and mushrooms, paired with Fino En Rama from Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosía.
o Main course: celeriac tartlet, miso beurre blancand orange, paired with Palo Cortado Great Duke 12 Years from Bodegas Juan Piñero.
o Dessert: toasted white chocolate, pistachios, raisins and blue cheese, paired with Medium Old Harvest from Bodegas Ximénez-Spínola.
United Kingdom - The River Café*
Sommelier Mattia Mazzi and chef Vincenzo Raffoneof The River Café* in London participated at the international final with the following pairing menu:
o Starter: butterbean soup with mussels and guanciale, paired with I Think Manzanilla from Equipo Navazos.
o Main Course: roast rack of lamb, charred artichokes and romesco sauce, paired with a 12-year Amontillado from Bodegas El Maestro Sierra.
o Dessert: sbrisolona with spiced crema catalanaand orange compote, paired with Palo Cortado Apóstoles, a 30-year VORS from Bodegas González Byass.
Russia - Selfie* and Straight Fire
Sommelier Svetlana Dobrynina of Moscow’s Selfie* and chef Mark Statsenko of Straight Fire, located in Samara, participated with this menu:
o Starter: forgotten orange and onion, cooked in salt at 240º, paired with Manzanilla Deliciosa from Bodegas Valdespino.
o Main course: roasted cauliflower with pecan nuts, paired with Fino Puerto Fino from Bodegas Lustau.
o Dessert: from plum to prune, the dynamics of age, paired with Oloroso Solera 1842 VOS from Bodegas Valdespino.
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