Paulette Tejada, a 22-year-old chef from the US, has won the inaugural International Tapas Awards in Madrid. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she was representing the Cordon Bleu College in Miami.

Her winning dish, named 'los andares del pata negra', tells the story of how the acorn-fed Iberian pig becomes the perfect slice of ham. The ingredients include sliced ham with its fat and thyme, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes with ham, bread made from acorn flour, and Ajoblanco (chilled almond soup) with Iberian pig fat.

Paulette Tejada from the Cordon Bleu College in Miami poses with her dish after she won the Cinco Jotas International Tapa Award in Madrid
Paulette Tejada from the Cordon Bleu College in Miami poses with her dish after she won the Cinco Jotas International Tapa Award in MadridGetty
Paulette Tejada's winning dish, named 'los andares del pata negra', tells the story of how the acorn-fed Iberian pig becomes the perfect slice of ham. The ingredients include sliced ham with its fat and thyme, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes with ham, bread made from acorn flour, and Ajoblanco (chilled almond soup) with Iberian pig fat
Paulette Tejada's winning dish, named 'los andares del pata negra', tells the story of how the acorn-fed Iberian pig becomes the perfect slice of ham. The ingredients include sliced ham with its fat and thyme, sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes with ham, bread made from acorn flour, and Ajoblanco (chilled almond soup) with Iberian pig fatGetty

The competition was sponsored by Cinco Jotas, Spain's top producer of ham. Twelve contestants representing catering schools in China, France, the US, UK, Russia and Spain had 90 minutes to create the perfect tapa using Iberian ham. They were scrutinised by a panel of judges chaired by Basque chef Pedro Subijana.

 IBTimesUK looks at the intricate work and precision cooking on display at the awards.

Mikhail Vinogradov from the Ragout School in Russia works on his tapa
Mikhail Vinogradov from the Ragout School in Russia works on his tapaGetty
Russian chef Mikhail Vinogradov's finished tapa
Russian chef Mikhail Vinogradov's finished tapaGetty
Alicja Jaroszuk from the Institut Paul Bocuse in France works on her tapa
Alicja Jaroszuk from the Institut Paul Bocuse in France works on her tapaGetty
Alicja Jaroszuk from the Institut Paul Bocuse in France introduces smoke into her dish
Alicja Jaroszuk from the Institut Paul Bocuse in France introduces smoke into her dishGetty
The tapa of Zhang Junheng from the Beijing Jinsong Vocational School in China
The tapa of Zhang Junheng from the Beijing Jinsong Vocational School in ChinaGetty
Garry Katz from the International Culinary Centre in New York works on his dish
Garry Katz from the International Culinary Centre in New York works on his dishGetty
Lea Martin from the Ecole Hoteliere de Bonneveine de Marseille in France fries quails' eggs for her dish
Lea Martin from the Ecole Hoteliere de Bonneveine de Marseille in France fries quails' eggs for her dishGetty
The finished dish produced by Lea Martin from the Ecole Hoteliere de Bonneveine de Marseille in France
The finished dish produced by Lea Martin from the Ecole Hoteliere de Bonneveine de Marseille in FranceGetty
Varun Thapar from the University of West London works on his tapa
Varun Thapar from the University of West London works on his tapaGetty
A tomato is prepared for Jorge Pelegrin's dish
A tomato is prepared for Jorge Pelegrin's dishGetty
The tapa of Jorge Pelegrin from the Escuela Superior de Hosteleria y Turismo de Madrid: ham, breadcrumbs, tomato and chocolate
The tapa of Jorge Pelegrin from the Escuela Superior de Hosteleria y Turismo de Madrid: ham, breadcrumbs, tomato and chocolateGetty
The competition was won by Paulette Tejada from the Cordon Bleu College in Miami. She is 22, born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic
The competition was won by Paulette Tejada from the Cordon Bleu College in Miami. She is 22, born in New York and raised in the Dominican RepublicGetty