The Trade Fair will be hosting the fifth edition of these awards organized by the national hotel and restaurant sector, which is also responsible for coordinating a round table on training of the sommelier at the fair
Once again this year the Hotel and Restaurant Sector will be holding a prominent role at the National Trade Fair on Wine, FENAVIN 2011, which will take place in Ciudad Real from May 10th to the 12th. To begin with, on May 11th the fifth edition of the Promotion of Quality in the Restaurant Sector Award ceremony will take place, with these awards being granted on a biannual basis by the National Association of Spanish Maîtres D'Hotel and Waiters (AMYCE).
This edition's special award will be for Josep Roca, of the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, establishment that has just recently been recognized as the second best restaurant in the world according to the prestigious British publication 'Restaurant'. The restaurant's maître and sommelier is very grateful for this award. "This award means that I am being recognized right at home, from close up so to say, from colleague to colleague, and really, could anything be more beautiful than this?", Josep Roca humbly affirmed, as he acknowledges the award with the commitment of becoming the AMYCE's ambassador, insisting that "there must be a sort of symbiosis between the dining room and the kitchen, as this is the point in which complicity is absolutely vital in order to find one's space in this sector."
Other awards that will be received correspond to Arturo Cantoblanco, who will be recognized in the Best Hotel Establishment category; along with the Prensa Ibérica publishing house, which is set to receive the award to the best Media Group; Silken, which will receive the award to the best Hotel Chain; San Sebastián Gastronomika, recognized as the best trade fair and the Barcelona CECC, recognized as the best School.
"The sommelier must never forget that he forms part of the dining room staff and that he is not a wine maker"
Another activity organized by the AMYCE will take place on May 12th. This time it will be a round table called "Sommelier Training Schools", which will attempt to clarify the reality and future of this profession. The agricultural journalist José Luis Murcia will be in charge of moderating the table, which will be made up by the representatives of different teaching centers such as the Madrid IFE, the Artxanda Hospitality and Hotel Management School, the Andalusian Center for Comprehensive Training in Leisure Industries (CIOMIJAS), the National Institute of Qualifications (INCUAL) and the Institute of the Vine and Wine of Castilla-La Mancha (IVICAM).
José Luis Murcia considers that the most important thing "is unification and a formal education system in that pertaining to the profession of sommelier. I believe this is a necessary profession, apart from the fact that consumption of wine is dropping, therefore, it must be promoted and this promotion must be properly done, by an expert in the matter."
At this point, Mariano Castellanos, Honorary Director of the AMYCE, considers that currently there are "very technical sommeliers that use a type of language that is very complicated, with which the customers are simply bored to death. A sommelier must never forget that he is a dining room professional, not a wine maker and that most clients simply want to enjoy the wine, not idolize it or study it."
Both are in agreement on the fact that gastronomy and wine, and the kitchen and the dining room, are all part of a whole, and that the sommelier must be knowledgeable in the food, in seasonal products and he must be capable of suggesting harmonious pairing of the dishes with the wines. Also, "the good sommeliers, the ones with excellent training, actually tend to recommend wines that are good value for money. After all one must listen to the customer and then one must satisfy the customer's desires, and given the current economic moment, this factor is taken increasingly more into account," José Luis Murcia summed up.