The 8th U.S. Copa Jerez Competition finals were held on December 4th at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and Chef John Taube IV and Sommelier Ryan Bailey of NoMad in Los Angeles won the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Copa Jerez Competition in Spain next year!
Their overall winning menu was:
- Starter Course: Uni Fideua with shellfish and caviar, paired with La Cigarrera Manzanilla
- Main Course: Truffle Stuffed Hen with wild mushrooms and sherry jus paired with El Maestro Sierra Palo Cortado
- Dessert Course: Strawberries with Remy’s Olive Oil Ice Cream and Almonds paired with Bodegas Cesar Florido Moscatel Dorado
Each team brought passion and creativity to all of their menus and pairings and the judges were impressed with the efforts of all teams. Competing teams were Chef Tobias Hogan (EaT Oyster Bar) and Sommelier Cheryl Wakerhauser (Bar Vivant/Pix Patesserie) from Portland, Oregon and Chef Joy Gerardi and Sommelier Danielle Ayer from Talulla in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Additional winning categories included:
Best Starter Course: Bar Vivant/EaT Oyster Bar team with their Shrimp Dumplings Swimming in Sanlúcar, paired with Hidalgo - La Gitana, Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada
Best Main Course: NoMad Team
Best Dessert Course: NoMad Team
Most Creative Menu: Bar Vivant/EaT Oyster Bar team with menu of exepected pairings, including Brisket Po’ Boy Brioche Sliders, paired with El Maestro Sierra, Oloroso 15 Años
Best Chef: John Taube IV of the NoMad LA
Best Sommelier: Ryan Bailey of the NoMad LA
The finalists presented their dishes and pairings with detailed justifications for the match to our distinguished panel of judges — Chef Bertrand Bouquin, Culinary Director of The Mountaintop at Desert Mountain Club in Arizona, and 2008 US COPA Jerez Winner, Andy Seymour, BAR Partner and owner of Liquid Productions, Inc, Jacques Bezhuidenhout of San Francisco, and winner of the first US Sherry Cocktail Competition, and Steve Olson, BAR Partner and aka maguey geek.
The Copa Jerez Competition is an international competition featuring the top chefs and sommeliers from Europe and North America, each team commissioned with choosing the ultimate match of Vinos de Jerez with food. It was created to showcase the incredible diversity of Sherry wine, and its remarkable ability to match with food.
All photos credited to Max Flatow