Now I don’t want to be sexist or anything, and being a female myself, I was surprised and delighted to read the news that the title of ‘Best Sommelier of Spain’, a category featured in the 3rd National Gastronomy Contest (III Certamen Nacional de Gastronomía), which took place from 21 to 23 September in Tenerife's Adeje, was won by a female wine waiter.
Nuria España, who represented Madrid but works in Alicante, was proclaimed ‘Best Sommelier of Spain’ in this national culinary competition.
The event consisted of four tests: a written exam, blind tasting, decanting and selling skills marrying wines with foods ‘maridaje’.
"It was one of the awards I was missing and I worked hard to get it," explained the excited winner, Nuria España. "Now that I have won this award I can devote my time to gardening," she joked with fellow contestants from the gastronomic selection of Madrid, who also work at the Monastrell restaurant in Alicante, where the head chef is also a woman (http://monastrell.com/).
The second place in the sommelier competition went to Cantabria and the third was won by the Balearic Islands.
The Canary Islands took first place in the 3rd National Gastronomy Contest’s category of Cooking, followed by Cantabria in second place and Madrid achieved third position.
The representatives of Madrid, Diego Tirados and Javier Moyano, chefs at the Hotel Villa Magna, admitted they felt ‘positive about having got third place.
"We are among the best in Spain and this is something to be proud of," they added. Like all the other participating chefs they had to prepare two dishes in five hours, one containing a piece of bluefin tuna and the other a piece of pork from the Canary Islands.
The rest of the Madrid team didn’t fare so well, not winning in the pastry or barman categories. However, the whole team from Madrid agreed it had been a "pleasant experience" to take part in this event.
The 3rd National Gastronomy Contest, organized by the Federation of Chefs and Confectioners of Spain (Facyre) and the Association of Chefs and Confectioners of the Canaries (ACYRE Canary Islands), has been one of the major competitions of the national gastronomic calendar, bringing together all the best regional teams of Spain.