29th May, Jerez. The Copa Jerez Forum & Competition, the largest international gathering involving Sherry and organised by the Consejo Regulador of Sherry and Manzanilla in collaboration with Fedejerez, celebrated today the closing day of the competition in the Villamarta theatre in Jerez.
During this great gathering, the final of the VIII edition of the Copa Jerez Competition took place, an exciting competition in which seven international teams consisting of a chef and a sommelier prepared their menus paired with Sherry live and simultaneously.
The winner of this VIII edition was the team of sommelier Jonathan K Bernsten and chef Martin G Sørensen from Denmark´s restaurant Clou* located in the heart of Copenhagen.
The winning menú prepared for the occasion by the Danish team consisted of three courses:
First course: Scallop and Danish rye bread with green aromas
Wine match: FINO (Fino Classic – Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla)
Main course: Matured pigeon with a confit of citrus fruit, walnut, and liver
Wine match: OLOROSO (Oloroso Soluqua – Bodegas Barón)
Dessert: Banana, golden butter, licorice, and olive oil
Wine match: PEDRO XIMĖNEZ (Pedro Ximénez Tradición VOS – Bodegas Tradición)
The other prizes awarded during the competition were:
Best Sommelier: Enrique García Albelda of Spain
Best Chef: Martin G Sørensen of Denmark
Best Pairing with the starter: Tartare of scallop with wasabi, cucumber and flavours of the sea paired with Fino (Fino Tio Pepe en rama 2019 – Bodegas González Byass) from the United Kingdom team
Best Pairing with the main dish: Twinning of Amontillado and Fondillón paired with Amontillado (Amontillado 54-1ª VORS – Bodegas Osborne) from the Spanish team
Best Pairing with the dessert: Banana, golden butter, licorice and olive oil paired with Pedro Ximénez (Pedro Ximénez Tradición VOS – Bodegas Tradición) from the Danish team
Most creative pairing: the team from the Nomad, United States
The judging panel also thought it necessary to make a “Special Mention” to the sommelier Kim Reisig of the Dutch restaurant Cheval Blanc* as “Sommelier of the Future”.
The panel of judges charged with making the awards on behalf of Sherry Wines consisted of five international professionals from the worlds of wine and gastronomy who were:
Josep Roca: sommelier, maitre d´and co-proprietor of the famous Celler de Can Roca***; Sarah Jane Evans: Master of Wine, award-winning wine author and journalist, co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and president of the 2018 IMW Symposium; Franҫois Chartie:; internationally considered as one of the greatest experts on gastronomic harmonies and World's Best Sommelier 1994 (Grand Prix Sopexa); José Carlos Capel: journalist and gastronomic critic and Beltrán Domecq; President of the Consejo Regulador of the DOs Jerez-Xéres-Sherry and Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Vinagre de Jerez.
José Carlos Capel remarked during the competition: “What we are witnessing is a very well thought out exercise in harmony between the wines of Jerez and gastronomy. It is wonderful to see the lengths each team of chef and sommelier go to in terms of practice, work and analysis to achieve this harmony which is the very peak of food preparation. As in all competitions, there are always certain participants who stand out from the rest and upon whom the judging panel must deliberate seriously.”
Franҫois Chartier said “I am very impressed with the menú proposals, the competitors have demonstrated a very high-level of skill with some surprising pairings with Sherry. We have seen a great mutual understanding between the teams of chef and sommelier.”
Sarah Jane Evans said “For me it has been a privilege to have been a judge in the Copa Jerez, to witness the final and see the high level of fare presented by the sommeliers and chefs. We had to mark the work of the chefs and their dishes, but also the sommelier, the harmony and, of course how well they worked together. Also, I believe it is important to point out that they were not cooking in a kitchen, but in this marvelous theatre, and I am not aware of any other similar event in the world.”
Josep Roca evaluated the winning menú thus: “The truth is that they have made it very well, they have used a menú structure with few ingredients but with great complexity, with lots of nuances and yet subtle. They produced a main dish in which the pigeon had everything which represents the concept of less is more with all the nuances of nuts, citrus and confits, the potency of flavour with that play between the heart and the liver to make a link with a really extraordinary sauce and the nuts which connect directly to the Oloroso. Just as sublime was the dessert in which in an absolutely minuscule way they made the panel shiver with a preparation which played with our oil, and with the banana with its cold texture to harmonise well with the Pedro Ximénez and where there was a hit of brutal intensity with that tear of licorice which awoke the wine – and us – and which made one better understand that is not about what the ingredients of a pairing are but how they interact and add up to a unique experience.”
Beltrán Domecq concluded the proceedings of the Copa Jerez Final 2019 saying “We must congratulate the team from Denmark for having won first prize in the Copa Jerez. They really have produced a fantastic menú and our thanks also go to all those who participated. Thanks as well to the judging panel for their very important efforts; evaluating these seven magnificent teams is a huge but delightful effort for the senses."
THE TEAMS IN THE FINAL
A total of seven teams from different countries made it to the Final of the VIII Copa Jerez Competition, among them no fewer than six Michelin stars.
During the day of the competition´s final, they all competed with their unbeatable menus which much impressed all those who attended. The teams which reached the final but didn´t win the Copa Jerez itself produced the following menus, all paired with Sherry:
Wild X Berg from Germany
Consisting of sommelier Sebastian Schaan and chef Dominik Markowitz from the restaurant La Corange in Mannheim.
Starter: Foie gras, turnip celery, macadamia nut, date, and fig
Pairing: MEDIUM (As You Like It Medium Sweet – Bodegas Williams & Humbert)
Main dish: Bison, Bota de Oloroso and carrot
Pairing: OLOROSO (Oloroso del Puerto – Almacenista – JL González Obregón – Bodegas Lustau
Dessert: Palomino, Flor, Fino
Pairing: FINO (Fino de Añada 2011 – Bodegas González Byass)
Le Pilori from Belgium
Sommelier Franҫois van de Casteell and chef Michel Van Cauwelaert were winners of the Belgian final. They represent the restaurant Le Pilori in the small town of Ėcausinnes in Wallonia.
Starter: White asparagus, North sea prawns and sea bass
Pairing: FINO (Bodegas Gutiérrez Colosía)
Main dish: Pigeon, morel mushrooms and purée of sweet potato and carrot
Pairing: AMONTILLADO (Amontillado del Duque VORS - Bodegas González Byass)
Dessert: Floating island of white cheese, strawberry, green celery and rhubarb
Pairing: PEDRO XIMĖNEZ (Ximénez-Spinola Old Harvest – Bodegas Ximénez-Spinola)
This team comes from Los Angeles and is formed by sommelier Ryan Bailey and chef John Tauber IV who work in the restaurant NoMad.
Starter: sea urchin noodles with shellfish and caviar
Pairing: MANZANILLA (Manzanilla La Cigarrera – Bodegas La Cigarrera)
Main dish: Spiced chicken stuffed with truffle and mushroom and Sherry sauce
Pairing: PALO CORTADO (Palo Cortado - Bodegas El Maestro Sierra)
Dessert: Strawberries with ice cream of olive oil (Remy) and almonds
Pairing: MOSCATEL (Moscatel Dorado – Bodegas César Florido)
Bonamb** from Spain
This restaurant in Xábia, Alicante won the Spanish heat in Madrid. The team consists of sommelier Enrique García and chef Pau García.
Starter: Marinade of olives, golden thistle, and langoustines from Sanlúcar
Pairing: MANZANILLA (La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 83 – Equipo Navazos)
Main dish: Twinning of Amontillado and Fondillón
Pairing: AMONTILLADO (Amontillado 51-1ª VORS – Bodegas Osborne)
Dessert: Salted almond, soya steeped in Brandy de Jerez and Moroccan lemon
Pairing: MEDIUM (Amoroso – Bodegas El Maestro Sierra)
Cheval Blanc* from Holland
Sommelier Kim Reisig and chef Eddie Meijjboom form the team representing the Netherlands.
Starter: Fried scallop, scarlet shrimp, Jerusalem artichoke and smoked almonds
Pairing: MANZANILLA (Manzanilla La Kika – Bodegas Yuste)
Main dish: Beef cheek, gizzards with duck liver, chives, kohlrabi, and morels
Pairing: PALO CORTADO (Palo Cortado de la Cruz de 1767 – Bodegas Arfe)
Dessert: Fermented chocolate, fig in aspic, honey, and hazelnuts
Pairing: CREAM (Cream – Bodegas Urium)
Texture* From the United Kingdom
This London restaurant is represented by the team of sommelier Alan Bednarski and chef Karl O´Dell.
Starter: Tartare of scallop, wasabi, cucumber and flavours of the sea
Pairing: FINO (Tio pepe en rama 2019, Bodegas González Byass)
Main dish: Barbecued pigeon, turnip, Sherry, and pistachios
Pairing: PALO CORTADO (Palo Cortado VORS – Bodegas Tradición)
Dessert: Creme caramel, almonds, Berry sauce, and olive oil
Pairing: MOSCATEL (Moscatel – Bodegas La Cigarrera)