The best Lithuanian dessert was the dessert of Juodasis Kalnas restaurant. The best wine was the Barbeito Malvasia Reserva 10 Years Madeira. The easiest combination of the championship was the combination Inspiration by pastry chef Evaldas Juška and wine expert Andrius Pagojas. Finally, the people's choice award went to the team Studentjė from Kaunas' St. Ignatius Loyola College.
Creative teams and an experienced winner
According to its initiator Arūnas Starkus, the championship, which aims to revitalise the culture of desserts and sweet wines, has again brought together creative teams this year that have presented high-level desserts, interesting wines, and solutions that have been assessed by a jury with mixed results, and which can contribute to shaping future trends.
"This year's Wine and Dessert Pairings Championship is already one of the championships due to take place in other European countries next year. I believe that we will create a snowball effect, and the transformation of this championship into an international event will bring great returns for Lithuania," A. Starkus hopes.
The championship's 15 participating teams are as diverse as ever. This year, as many as four student teams competed against well-known chefs and sommeliers.
Speaking of the winning team from the restaurant Dine, Starkus says that the combination of pastry chef B. Inciūtė-Čepulionienė and sommelier A. Daraskevičius was the clear leader. "We saw a fortified wine - a madeira - and a very intense but refined dessert. It was a correctly and wisely made combination because the participant is also very experienced," says Starkus.
This is the 7th time that Dine has participated in the championship, and this year's victory is it's first. The restaurant's owner and sommelier, A. Darasevičius, is a participant who has never missed a single championship, appearing here for the 11th time. He says that as long as the ideas are there and the desire to create outstanding wine and dessert combinations to be proud of continues, taking part in the championship is indubitable.
Participants and awards
I place - Restaurant "Dine" (owner, sommelier Arminas Darasevičius, pastry chef Barbora Inciūtė- Čepulionienė) - Chocolate buckwheat dessert, wine Barbeito Malvasia Reserva 10 Years. The prize was awarded by Sangaida.
II place - Restaurant "14 Horses" (sous-chef Vilius Uljanovas, sommelier Simonas Laukaitis) - dessert "Plum", wine Podere Casaccia Situa Nobilis IGT Passito 2012. The prize was awarded by Copenhagen Sparkling Tea.
III place - Restaurant Surr (pastry chef Jessica Sokolovaitė, family friend and sommelier Francesco Di Marco) - dessert "Grandma's Pot", wine Querciavalle Vin Santo del Chianti Classico. The prize was awarded by Copenhagen Sparkling Tea.
III place - Restaurant from Birštonas "Old Town Grill" (Ivona Cibulskienė, Martynas Morkūnas, Miglė Kulbušauskaitė) - dessert "Duet", wine Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Furmint. The prize was awarded by Copenhagen Sparkling Tea.
The most Lithuanian dessert - Juodkrantė restaurant Juodasis Kalnas (chefs Donatas Kucikas and Tomas Petrikas) - dessert Obuolienės Spurga, wine Colli Euganei Moscato Fior D'Arancio. The prize was awarded by the Vyno Žurnalas magazine.
Best wine - Barbeito Malvasia Reserva 10 Years (restaurant "Dine", sommelier Arminas Darasevičius). The prize was set up by Sangaida and the participants received gifts from Zwiesel Glas.
Easiest combination - Pastry chef Evaldas Juška (restaurant "Arrivee", Kaunas) and wine expert Andrius Pagojus (Wine Club) - dessert "Inspiration", wine - Champagne Louis Roederer demi-sec. The prize was awarded by the mineral water Perlage.
Restaurant "Monte Pacis" of the Pažaislis Hospitality Complex (sommelier Indra Ramanauskienė and pastry chef Gintarė Kundrotaitė) - dessert "Pažaislis medutis", wine "Širdies duona" (apple and hawthorn wine)
Restaurant "Pink&Yellow" - dessert "Desperado", wine Jeff Carrel Morillon Blanc 2020
Lina Žilevičė, founder of the restaurant "ToLi nuo klasikos" in Klaipėda, and Viktorija Pranevič, wine expert at UAB "Liviko" - dessert "Nobleman and the Sea", wine Villa Maria Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 10%
Team from Klaipėda "Seaside" (Jelena Aleksandravičienė, founder of "Jelena desertai", and Garnik Kazarian, representative of "Gadara", a company selling Armenian wines) - dessert "Perla", wine Ariats Sweet Kakhani Reserve, 14,5 %
Team "Vanilinis Pipiras" (Sommelier Albert Kontsialov, Pastry Chef Kotryna Pliuskaitė, Dovilė Piliponytė, Evgeny Michejonok) - Dessert 'Black Cherry', wine Marques de Grinon Graciana, Spain, 15%.
Kaunas College (pastry chef Mantas Anza and bartender Lukas Mačiulaitis) - dessert "Swirl", wine CARM LBV Port 2012, 20%
Kaunas College team "Korys" (first-year gastronomy and catering students Sigita Malinauskienė and Ridas Baranauskas) - dessert "Honey Magic", wine Kiduliai Traditional Mead 2017, 12%
Kaunas Construction and Services Training Centre team "I'm just like you" (chef speciality 3rd-year students Alfredas Šimas and Reda Tiškutė, chef speciality teacher Grytė Bezarienė, chef speciality teacher expert Giedra Sadauskienė) - dessert "I'm just like you", wine Artis Chardonnay, 0,5% (non-alcoholic)
Kaunas St. Ignatius Loyola College team "Studentjė" (students Lukaš Palkovski, Saulė Koženiauskaitė, Rokas Kazlaukas, Roberta Statkevičiūtė, wine expert Petras Jarašūnas) – Dessert "From the Beehive", wine Kracher Cuvee Beerenauslese Burgenland 2017
The Wine and Dessert Pairing Championship is sponsored by Vyno Klubas, Copenhagen Sparkling Tea, Zwiesel Glas, Vyno Žurnalas and Perlage. Main sponsor - Sangaida.
The event is organised by the Lithuanian Sommelier Association and the Association of Head Chefs and Pastry Chefs of Lithuanian Restaurants in cooperation with the Lithuanian Sommelier School.
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