The 2021 UK Finalists for Copa Jerez are from three of London’s iconic restaurants: Orrery, The Ritz and The River Café. Each team put forward a three course meal that champions Sherry with every course and also uses Sherry as an ingredient in at least one dish.
Making the selection for the final was not easy as menus were submitted from variety of restaurants across the UK, from Scotland to Cardiff. In choosing the finalists the high quality of cookery, the variety of Sherry styles chosen and the expert food pairing knowledge all the entries has this year was noted – making for an even tougher decision.
Sommelier: Julio D Tauste
Chef: Scott Hunt-McDonnell
Entrée: Mackerel Tartare, Granny Smith Apple, Cucumber, Oyster leaf, Caviar
Paired with: Bodegas La Riva Manzanilla Fina Pago Miraflores Baja
Main course: Secreto Iberico (shoulder muscle), Baby Artichoke, Caramelized onion puree, Prune and Pedro Ximenez sauce.
Paired with: Valdespino Oloroso Solera 1842 VOS Medium Sweet
Dessert: Souffle Pistachio, Salted Chocolate Ice Cream
Paired with: Cesar Florido Moscatel Dorado
Chef: Ian Musgrave
Entrée: Norfolk Crab, Tomatoes and Basil
Paired with: Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa en rama
Main course: Anjou Pigeon, Hen of the Wood Mushrooms, Apple, Walnut and Raisin
Paired with: Gonzalez Byass Apostoles VORS
Dessert: Amedei Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla and Hazelnut Praline
Paired with: Gonzalez Byass Solera 1847 Cream
THE RIVER CAFÉ
Sommelier: Mattia Mazzi
Chef: Vincenzo Raffone (freelance chef)
Entrée: Butterbean Soup with Mussels and Guanciale Casserole
Paired with: Equipo Navazos I Think Manzanilla
Main course: Smoked Lamb Rack, Charred Artichokes and Romesco Sauce
Paired with: El Maestro Sierra Amontillado 12 yo
Dessert: Sbrisolona with Spiced Crema Catalana and Orange Compote
Paired with: Gonzalez Byass Apostoles Palo Cortado VORS 30 yo
Talking about this year’s finalists the Copa Jerez international chair-judge, César Saldaña, and president of the Consejo Regulador de Jerez y Sanlúcar de Barrameda, said: “There is a balance of menu styles in the teams chosen this year, from intricate fine dining to carefully constructed dishes with texture and intense flavours. And of course all of them put Sherry at the heart of the meal. But now the really tough part comes, choosing the ultimate winner”.
The teams will now go forward in the competition to meet the judges at the final in London at the new and state of the art competition kitchen CORD by Le Cordon Bleu on Monday 24 May, where they will present their menus in full, explaining why they are Sherry champions.