A 22 year old Chinese student, Mengxin Zhou, persuaded/convinced with her sferification of gazpacho, Joan Roca, Chef at the best restaurant in the world: El Celler de Can Roca and the rest of the jury members.
Mengxin Zhou came to Spain with the rest of the participants in June. After six weeks training period at the International School of Culinary Arts, she completed a practical program in Spanish gastronomy at the restaurant El Culler de Pau, with a Michelin star, located in O Grove, Galicia. On Monday, she surprised the judges with her self-confidence and with her tapa called as “Iberian Salmorejo with crispy rice and olive oil.” A sferification of gazpacho in which was used a Candeal bread, extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, ham and tomato.
The student received the award worth 12,000 € and consisting of a trip to Barcelona sponsored by the Designation of Origin Cava. For the occasion was named as Young Cofrade of Honor of the Brotherhood of Cava. And also she will be enjoying two nights stay at any Spain’s popular Paradores hotels sponsored by Paradores de Turismo de España, a chain of luxurious state-run hotels by the Paradores of Spain.
Also she received a Spanish brand Chef jacket Aliant, designed exclusively for the Competition.
The second prize of 8,000 euros has gone to the city of Seattle in the United States. Geneva Melby , from the Seattle Culinary Academy , won the second prize with her cover ” Valleys and vineyards , forest rabbit with bread .” An original cover made with rabbit cheeks, chanterelles, pine nuts and wine tempranillo . The student will go to a Wyndham Hotel leading a tapas festival, which will help to promote the reputation of the competition and the Spanish Gastronomy. The student completed her internship at the restaurant Le Domaine in Abadia de Retuerta Bodega.
The third place has been to Rafal Wojtasik , from the Academy of hotel and catering lndustty of Poland, with his ” summer cover ” made of bread of Valladolid, lamb and chicken liver , Verdejo grapes , prosciutto and Brandy de Jerez . The student concluded his internship at the restaurant La Botica , in Matapozuelos , with the Chef Miguel Angel de la Cruz . The prize of 3,500 euros was sponsored by the International School of Culinary Arts and the Martinez Gascon brand knifes.
The International Culinary Schools Tapas Competition, was taken place in the city of Valladolid, leaded by the International School of Culinary Arts and with the collaboration of ICEX.