The director of Foods & Wines from Spain, María José Sevilla, is stepping down from the role.
Sevilla's involvement with this part of the Spanish Embassy's Trade Commission in the UK goes back more than 30 years, and has involved various roles. In addition to most recently heading up the department, she had, for example, her own BBC television series in the 90s entitled Spain on a Plate.
Leaving her position with Foods & Wines from Spain will give Sevilla time to finish her upcoming book about the history of Spanish food and wine, among other projects.
'I have loved my work at Foods and Wines from Spain,' she commented. 'I have made many friends and learnt so much along the way. Not only this but I have seen the UK’s attitude to Spanish food and wine change out of all recognition over the last 25 years. It gives me such pleasure to see how Spain’s chefs, wines, foods and gastronomy are now firmly on the international stage as key movers and I am very much looking forward to working on my own projects which in some small way I hope will continue this momentum.'
Wine trade figure Allan Cheesman, a friend of Sevilla's, commented: 'María José Sevilla has been at the centre of food and wine from Spain for as long as I care to remember! Her 100% enthusiasm for all things Spain – the emerging wine DOs, the established wine DOs and of course the fabulous cornucopia of Spanish cuisine across this fantastic country – is without parallel. There is no doubt that María José is the best unofficial ambassador that Spain could ask for... and she's a lovely lady too!'