The jury, chaired by the prestigious chef Pedro Subijana, of Akelarre, awarded Andreu Ares with a bursary to study at the Basque Culinary Center for his winning creation, 'Potaje Cinco Jotas'. Ivanka Sinead, creator of the recipe "Raíces Cinco Jotas" (Cinco Jotas Roots) was awarded the Cinco Jotas prize for the recipe with the most social media interactions.
The objective was to reward the talent and creativity of the most promising young talent in the world of Spanish cuisine, who reinterpreted classic national and international recipes, with Cinco Jotas ham in the lead role. The jury made the unanimous decision to award the top prize to Andreu Ares's exceptional creation, which stood out for its flavour, appearance and the harmonious integration of Cinco Jotas products.
Andreu Ares's creation was inspired by the people, art and gastronomy of Andalusia, taking the picadillo soup - a recipe traditionally made by the region's grandmothers - as a starting point. He used a French culinary technique to achieve a silkier textured broth. Instead of adding boiled egg to the dish, he cured the yolk for 30 days, obtaining a delicious result. In addition, the croutons were presented in two different forms: as pork scratchings made from ham skin and as a decoration inspired by crochet, one of our grandmothers' favourite hobbies. And grandfathers - who were fond of adding a few drops of sherry to the soup - weren't forgotten either. As ‘Potaje Cinco Jotas’ was finished off with a few drops of one of Osborne’s exceptional sherry wines.
The factors that the jury evaluated when making their final decision included the conception of the dish, the creativity and story behind the recipe, its presentation, the harmony of the ingredients and the execution, taking into account the flavour, aroma and temperature. Consideration was also made of the participants' spoken presentation of their dish to the jury and attendees.
The recipe ‘Raíces Cinco Jotas’ by Ivanka Sinead from Mexico was awarded the prize for the most interactions on social media. Inspired by the family recipe for mole, which has been passed down through generations, it was adapted to incorporate the flavour and essence of Cinco Jotas. Her creation represents the love, dedication and patience that go into making Cinco Jotas jamón, which played a starring role in the creation.
The grand final also saw the participation of three other finalists: Blanca Lahoz Lopez (Madrid), Hannah Kaplun Castelo (México) and Roger Prat Canudas (Andorra). The Cinco Jotas Cooking Challenge is one of the brand's key projects, owing to its link with training promising future talent in the gastronomic sector, thanks to its collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center. So much so, that the 2019 winner, Carlos Casillas, has achieved his first Michelin star and Michelin Green Star at his restaurant, Barro.
Cinco Jotas jamón is a gastronomic masterpiece and a Spanish cultural icon, appreciated by the world's greatest culinary geniuses and all lovers of haute cuisine. Each piece is unique and unrepeatable, created through the talent of master craftsmen and, in this case, reinterpreted by passionate students who will shape the future of the country's cuisine.