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Published on June 13th, 2017 | by Ruben

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Netherlands win Copa Jerez 2017

The seventh edition of the Copa Jerez was held today, 13th June 2017. This prestigious food pairing competition is organised by the Consejo Regulador (regulatory council of Sherry wines) and Fedejerez (the association of Sherry exporters). Well-known teams of chef and sommelier from seven countries competed for the prize, and I hear this year there was a tough competition.

Each team (one chef + one sommelier) creates a starter, main course and dessert, accompanied by specific sherries. The whole spectrum of Sherry (dry, medium, sweet) and Manzanilla is allowed.

 

These are the seven participating restaurants:

  • Humphrey, Belgium
  • Falsled Kro / Sortebro Kro, Denmark
  • Ödenturm, Germany
  • Podium onder de Dom, Netherlands
  • Casa Marcial **, Spain
  • The Ritz London *, United Kingdom
  • En Rama, United States

Being Belgian, I’ve often been critical towards the Belgian contenders in the past, so I was keen to find out how they performed this time. I had lunch in Humphrey a couple of months ago and I must say they have a unique style, influenced by the cuisine of the Philippines and other countries, with traces of Noma and Etxebarri where head chef Yannick Van Aeken used to work. The restaurant was represented by their Norwegian sous-chef Robin Alexander Leypoldt and by sommelier Glen Ramaekers.

I must say their pairings sounded a bit odd. A starter with prawns and buckwheat, paired with the Palo Cortado VORS from Bodegas Tradición (I can imagine the outstanding wine easily overtakes a delicate prawn). Then a main course with reindeer heart, cheese and tobacco leaf and… a Fino from Gutiérrez Colosia (meat and tobacco, isn’t this where the Palo Cortado should have been?) and foie with beetroot and onion for dessert (I would be slightly disappointed to have this for dessert, but in any case it was sensibly paired to the lovely Medium Old Harvest from Ximénez-Spínola). Not an obvious proposal overall, but it got them the creativity award (ex aequo with the US).

 

– – –

Restaurant Podium Onder de Dom in Utrecht is the overall winner for 2017, with this menu:

  • “Zeeland” oyster with green olive jelly and cream of sardine, dressed with Madame Jeanette oil and Iberian ham sauce , paired with Manzanilla Pasada La Goya / Bodegas Delgado Zuleta
  • Dutch rabbit crépinette seasoned with masala spices and carrot and orange cream, paired with Oloroso El Cerro / Bodegas Callejuela
  • Caramel and porcini “flor” with a Sherry Vinegar and Jerez Brandy reduction on aged Oudwijker cheese from the region of Utrecht, paired with Medium Mons Urium / Bodegas Urium

The recipe for winning the Copa Jerez: simplicity and common sense, with the sherry wines harmoniously supporting the (local) ingredients. Hats off to chef Leon Mazairac, sommelier Goos van den Berg and the whole Dutch support team!

 

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About the Author

fell in love with sherry fifteen years ago, but switched to a higher gear in 2013 and started writing about it. Lived in Madrid for a couple of years, now back in Belgium. I also run a whisky blog over at www.whiskynotes.be



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