Lidia’s winning dish, published on her blog atrapadaenmicocina.com, was a Pionono of figs with foie micuit, which she paired with a Lustau Moscatel. She says of her original take on the sweet pastry, named after Pope Pio Nono (Pius IX):
I wanted to surprise a little by pairing the wine with a savoury entrée with a sweet touch, in the shape of a pionono, to pay homage to the most emblematic dessert of my home province - Granada.
Pionono of figs with foie micuit, paired with a Lustau Moscatel by Lidia María De la O Mancilla
For the competition, the 16 finalists, from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US, were each sent a random bottle of Sherry. The bloggers then had to create a recipe that would pair with their allocated Sherry, and publish it on their blog or Instagram account during International Sherry Week 2019 (4-10 November), using #sherryweekblog.
The international judging panel - which consisted of Spanish gastronomy journalist and Ambassador to Vinos de Jerez Pepe Ferrer; Jonathan K Berntsen from Michelin-star restaurant Clou in Denmark, winner of this year’s Copa Jerez; and Beltran Domecq, president of Sherry’s Governing Council in Jerez - marked the dishes on four criteria: creativity, use of local ingredients, presentation, and pairing. Lidia’s pionono scored high on all four counts.
Other highly-rated entries included spicy pan-fried sea bass paired with palo cortado; matched with amontillado were pulled boar, pork gyoza, and spicy roast duck; rabbit bao with oloroso; and chocolate ganache with cream. The wide variations of cuisines and pairings shows the versatility and range of these wines, running the gamut from dry to sweet, matching with everything from fish, game and wild fowl to desserts.
Top Left-Right: Spicy Pan-Fried Sea bass with Seasonal Veg with Palo Cortado, Amontillado sherry braised pulled boar with coleslaw & dressing. Bottom Left-Right: Chocolate Ganache paired with Cream, Sherry Gyozas with Amontillado Medium, Rabbit Bao with chocolate paired with Oloroso
The Andalucian food blogger’s Sherry-tastic prize is a two-day trip for two people on the Sherry and Brandy Route, visiting three bodegas and dining at three restaurants in Jerez, all of which naturally feature exceptional Sherry wine menus: La Cruz Blanca, La Carboná and Atuvera. Lidia and her guest will stay a Hotel La Fonda Barranco in Jerez.