Describe Sherry wines in 3 words?
Wisdom, harmony and elegance, and if I could add another…. complexity.
Do you apply any particular philosophy when marrying food with Sherry or creating gastronomic menus to accompany these wines?
Casa Marcial, half-brothers … If the land is the fertile mother of Sherry wines, then the sea is the father. The influence of salinity and the regulatory effect of the temperatures, complete with the privileged albariza soils make the Sherry area a winemaking ecosystem which is unique and unrepeatable anywhere else in the world.
The Casa Marcial restaurant is the son of this same father, although at a thousand kilometres away it is known as the Cantabrian Sea. The last foothills of the Picos de Europa mountains which extend almost to the coastal flats are known as the Sierra del Sueve; they are the mother. The countryside and sea in Jerez; the mountains and the sea in the community of Parres, have given birth to each of these unique realms full of their own flavours and exuberant nuances, genuine “terroirs” created by the intimate interaction of man with the land and the sea.
The fraternal connection is not anecdotal. Just as the wines of Jerez cannot be understood without the influence of the sea which shapes them, and is the very soul of the wines of Sanlúcar, neither is it possible to understand the richness of the cuisine of Nacho Manzano without thinking of the marine larder of the Cantabrian Sea and the land influenced by it. Great inspiration is born of the fertile fields of Asturias, the river Sella, the game reserves and the saline pastures which feed the finest dairy herds and the largest variety of cheeses in Europe. Intuitive and sincere creations have created a project which is not traditional, nor avant-garde, nor of the sea, nor of the mountains, but all of them at the same time.
What is your favourite and most innovative matching?
Right now I think that the three matches we are presenting in the VII Copa Jerez are very innovative. But we are always thinking up new matches with Sherry which we are sure will impress, and they certainly won’t be the last.
Other matches with Sherry which we have presented at Casa Marcial and which we love are sea urchin with acidulated hollandaise sauce, aromatic herbs and yoghurt with Amontillado Sacristía AB saca 2015. We also liked the Pitu de Caleya (local free-range chicken) in the style of Nacho Manzano’s mother with giblet-stuffed ravioli and the Oloroso Villapanés from Emilio Hidalgo. Both were and remain on the Casa Marcial menu.
What motivated you to take part in the Copa Jerez?
I am always particularly motivated to take part in the Copa Jerez because I’m passionate about the competition. Despite having won the fourth edition of the Copa Jerez I never lose the thrill and the will to participate again. This year I was persuaded by the talent and ideas of Matteo Pierazzolli since we are both interested in Sherry wines and we were both very much on the same wavelength at the time of preparing for the heat. We knew very well what we wanted to present and we made strenuous efforts to bring something which we were really convinced about. We really enjoyed ourselves, we did it with great respect, and even if we hadn’t won the Spanish heat, it would have been worth the effort as the creative process was so satisfactory for both of us. And of course Esther and Nacho Manzano as well as the Casa Marcial team gave us their full support and were our best judges, so it was real teamwork.
If you could serve your food and Sherry matches anywhere in the world outside your restaurant:
a. Where would it be?
I believe we would serve them anywhere in the world since Sherry wines are very international and we would be sure to find a perfect marriage with any type of cuisine.
b. To whom would you serve them?
To whom would we not serve them! We would serve them to anybody, and what a wonderful challenge to find the perfect Sherry for each customer.
c. What would the sound track be?
… Adagio by Paco de Lucía, and following on from Casa Marcial … Half Brothers, it would have to be Asturias by Isaac Albeniz.