Copa Jerez launches search to find the UK’s best Sherry pairing menu

This year’s Copa de Jerez competition has now closed and the entries have been poured and picked over to tease out the list of finalists…and what a line up we have!

Every two years the Consejo Regulador in Jerez invites on-trade establishments from across the UK to submit their ideas for the best Sherry and food matching menu. The aim being to find the winner who will then go on to represent Great Britain at the international final in Jerez next year, where they will compete against the very best chef and sommelier teams from the USA, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Spain and Germany.

Each entrant had to put together an imaginative three-course menu that used innovative flavours and food combinations to match with a wide range of Sherry styles. The competition was tough as top restaurants and hotels from around the UK pitted their culinary wits against each other blind. It was a case of them having to give it their best shot, and being as imaginative as possible, without having a clue about who they were up against and what they might be concocting.

The panel charged with the difficult task of picking the 8 finalists from the stack of entries had to look for flair and imagination when it came to culinary skills and menu selection whilst ensuring that the Sherries chosen for each of the dishes looked like it would work on paper. That the flavours in the suggested dishes would combine well with the wine styles chosen. It wasn’t easy.

2016 Copa Jerez UK Finalists:

Tarja Silvanti, Head Chef Alan Bednarski, Head Sommelier 28-50 Fetter Lane
Sergi Sanz, Executive Chef Jose G. Godoy, Restaurant Manager Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
Manuel Monzon, Head Chef Sam Midgely, Bar and Beverage Manager    Bar 44 Tapas y Copas
Steeven GILLES, Sous-Chef Pierre-Marie FAURE, Head Sommelier Celeste Restaurant, The Lanesborough Hotel
Kuba Czyz, Head Chef Marianna Toro, Head Sommelier Coya Restaurant
Mary North, Head Chef Matthew Whitaker, Head Sommelier Nut Tree Inn
Michael Nizzero, Senior Sous Chef     Giovanni Ferlito, Head Sommelier The Ritz restaurant
Scott Davies, Head Chef Petri Pentikainen, Sommelier The Three Chimneys

The eight finalists will compete against each other in a live head-to head challenge, in early October this year, at the Restaurant Show. Our esteemed panel of judges, will be there to choose the winner, who will receive a £500 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Jerez. Winner of the 2nd and 3rd prize will received cash prizes of £300 and £200 respectively.

It’s going to be an inspiring challenge to compete under the watchful eye of the judges and a live audience at the show. Finalists will not just have to have nerves of steel but they will have to confident that the wines that they have chosen will work well with the dishes being created to a strict time schedule. If you are going to be at the show come along and watch the Copa de Jerez UK final in the Competition Theatre from 10am on Monday 3 October. The winner will be announced at 1pm.

Editors’ notes:

- Full details of the Copa Jerez 2016 competition, including details of the judges and the rules can be found on www.sherry.wine/copa-jerez
- The closing date for entries is 31st July, 2016.
- Join the conversation: @SherryWinesUK #copajerezUK

For more information, images or further details about Copa Jerez UK please contact:
Angeline Bayly, Campaign Director, Sherry Wines UK
Email: Angeline@bespokedrinksmedia.com Tel: 01430 240147/07780 708454