Cameron Moncaster from Waeska at the Mandrake Hotel has been crowned the UK winner in this year’s Tio Pepe Challenge competition.
This annual sherry cocktail competition, takes place in 14 countries and sees some 400 entries across the globe. This year, the UK challenge received entries from bartenders from some of the UK’s top bars, from all across the UK.
Eleven entrants were selected to battle it out at the UK Final. The contestants were tested on both theory and practice, including the use of the traditional venencia as well as creating a sherry cocktail. The judging panel, comprising Walter Pintus, Stuart Hudson and Boris Ivan, had a tough job selecting the winner but Cameron’s Sea, Spice, Citrus & Soil cocktail blew them away.
The UK finalists were:
Sebastian Kasyna, The Ivy City Garden
Flavio Prospero, Galvin at Windows
Christian Teducci, China Tang
Gábor Molnar, Quaglino’s
Karel Varga, Mr Fogg’s
Sam Midgley, Bar 44
Gianluca Pavanello, Swift
Eleanor Holcroft, SACK Bar
Dario Arranz, Oblix
Cameron Moncaster, Waeska at the Mandrake Hotel
Chris Calvert, Aviator at Hush
Cameron Moncaster will now go on to represent the UK in the International Grand Final in Jerez during the world-famous Feria de Jerez at the beginning of May 2018. There, he will face the winners from Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, China, UK, USA, Germany, Spain, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Italy in the Grand Final in Jerez for a chance to be crowned overall winner of this year’s International Top Pepe Challenge.
The Tio Pepe Challenge allows aspiring sherry experts to test their knowledge about this wonderful fortified wine. It is an unprecedented opportunity for bartenders to find out about the variety and scope that sherry has to offer and to showcase their own creativity and skills by developing their own sherry cocktail.
For more information about the competition go to: www.tiopepe.com/tiopepechallenge