Copa Jerez 2018 kicks off, searching for UK’s top sommelier and chef team

Jane Ryan

18 July 2018

2018’s Copa Jerez competition has launched, seeking out the top UK chef and sommelier teams, who must prove their skills by creating a three-course meal highlighting sherry’s versatility.

The bi-annual competition, now in its eighth year, is organised by Sherry Wines and judged by a panel of food and wine experts. The only rule the teams must follow is that sherry has to be the paired wine for each course and as an ingredient in at least one dish.

Entries are open until 31 August.

‘We are very fortunate to attract an extremely high calibre of entries every year that we have hosted Copa Jerez in the UK, and I know this year will not be different. The food pairings always delight us, and show how well our competitors understand sherry and its culinary versatility. I can’t wait to see what we discover this year,’ said international chair-judge Beltran Domecq, president of the Consejo Regulador de Jerez y Sanlucar de Barrameda.

Once all the entries have been judged the top five teams go on to take part in the live final, at the Restaurant Show at Olympia London, on 1 October.

Here, the teams will be required to cook their sherry-inspired menu in front of a panel of judges and an audience.

Up for grabs is a £500 cash prize, an all-expenses paid trip to the sherry region of Jerez and the chance to represent the UK at the International Competition of Gastronomy and Sherry Pairing, held in Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, 2019.

There the winning team will compete alongside finalists from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, the United States and Spain.

Last year’s winning team, chef Leon Mazairac and sommelier Goos van den Berg from Dutch restaurant Podium onder de Dom, created a menu of elaborately dressed oysters with Manzanilla Pasada La Goya, Dutch rabbit crépinette with Oloroso El Cerro and a dessert of caramel and porcini flor ice cream with aged Oudwijker cheese, paired with a Medium Mons Urium.

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