An Appetite for Wine: Copa Jerez Pairing Dinner at Restaurant Paul de Pierre, Maarkedal, Belgium

Last November, Belgian sommelier Paul-Henri Cuvelier and chef Fabian Bail of restaurant Paul de Pierre in Maarkedal, attained a smashing victory at the prestigious Copa Jerez in Spain, an international competition dedicated to high-end gastronomy and sherry wines.

It was a unique achievement, because they didn’t just bring home the main prize, they also won the award in the 2 other main categories: Best Sommelier and Best Chef.

So, being huge sherry lovers to begin with, when we had the chance to taste their creations and pairings here last week, Dr. K & I happily ventured to the Flemish Ardennes for an evening of culinary delights.

And we were in for a treat, from start to finish: gorgeous sherries, intensely flavoured, delectable dishes, and perfect pairings. From the Txogitxu tataki with miso, paired with a fabulous Amontillado; via a sea bass, lime and cucumber ceviche with a lipsmackingly zippy Fino; to an unforgettable scallops & jamón carpaccio with a slow-fermented PX.

The wines and pairings were introduced by star sommelier and restaurant owner Paul-Henri Cuvelier himself, and by representatives of Spanish-wines importer La Buena Vida and of Bodega Gutiérrez Colosía, of which 3 high-quality sherries were used for the pairings in this dinner.

The second half of the menu consisted of their winning Copa Jerez competition dishes: a deeply savoury mackerel/chorizo/dashi starter with Peter Sisseck’s ‘Viña Corrales’ Fino; a lamb and lamb kidney with shiitake marvel with a Gutiérrez-Colosía Oloroso; to end with a tobacco-poached crémeux with goat’s cheese ice cream and orange, matched with a Ximénez-Spinola old-harvest Medium sherry.

Food, wine and especially pairings at this level… They bring memories to cherish and be inspired by for a long time to come! Congratulations once more to Paul-Henri, Chef Fabian and the entire team – as well as to their families and everyone else who supported them along the way! 💖


Restaurant Paul de Pierre
Nederholbeekstraat 135
B-9680 Maarkedal (Belgium)


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