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.
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.