Two of the UK’s leading restaurateurs, chef patron, Jonny Lake and Master Sommelier Isa Bal, will lead the judging panel at this year’s UK final of Copa Jerez.
Trivet was awarded its first Michelin star earlier this year and part-owner Bal was also the recipient of the Michelin Sommelier Award 2022.
Chef Patron, at Trivet, Jonny Lake commented: “We’re really proud to be hosting such a prestigious event at Trivet. On top of that, I’m really excited to be judging for the UK finals. Being interested in sherry – but also from a chef’s perspective – I’m intrigued to see and taste what our UK chefs have come up with.”
Master Sommelier and co-owner of Trivet, Isa Bal supported Lake’s comments: “Sherry offers a wide variety of flavours and styles to both the wine lover and to professionals, and I’m excited to see different perspectives of how to use sherry in a professional way. I’m looking forward to seeing some beautiful combinations.”
Announcing the partnership, international chair-judge César Saldaña, president of the Consejo Regulador de Jerez y Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda, said:
“It is an absolute honour for us to bring Copa Jerez to Trivet this autumn and to welcome Jonny and Isa to the judging panel. Their professionalism and illustrious careers, along with their appreciation and respect for Sherry wines, means we have the perfect partners and this year’s contestants will be judged at the highest standards.”The bi-annual competition, which is now in its tenth edition, is organised by Sherry Wines, and invites chef and sommelier teams from the UK to devise a three-course meal that will complement and showcase Sherry wines’ versatility.
The only proviso is that Sherry must feature as the paired wine for each course and as an ingredient in at least one course, although past contestants have taken the theme much further.
The winning UK team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Sherry region of Jerez and will represent the UK at the International Competition of Gastronomy and Sherry Pairing, to be held in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain in October 2023, where they will compete alongside other finalists from the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Spain.
All entries will be evaluated by a panel of renowned food and wine experts, with three top teams invited to take part in the ‘live’ Copa Jerez UK Final, which is being held at Trivet restaurant in London, on Monday 17 October, 2022. Here, the teams will cook and present their Sherry-inspired menu in front of a panel of expert judges.