The jury of the Cervantes Gastronomic Award has unanimously decided to award this year’s award to Toledo sommelier Custodio López Zamarra, in recognition of his career in the field of national and international gastronomy. The award ceremony will take place during the gastronomic competition gala, organized by the tourism department of the Alcalá de Henares City Council, on May 29 at the Corral de Comedias.

Custodio López Zamarra (1949) grew up “smelling of must” and “crawling among the jars, skins and customers.” He was born in Villatobas (Toledo) and grew up in the family tavern, Casa Zamarra, where he became familiar with wine as a child. He arrived in Madrid in the late 60s and began his career at Casa Antonio. He worked in various establishments until arriving at La Fontana, where he developed his passion for wine. Finally, he joined Zalacaín, the first Spanish restaurant with three Michelin stars, where he excelled as a sommelier.

“For one thing, López Zamarra stands out because he is a person who is as enriching as he is human, as knowledgeable as he is discreet. This is one of the Sumilleres with greater intellect in wine culture and Spanish gastronomy of the first level”, said the juror.

The Cervantes Gastronomic Award, awarded by the Alcalá de Henares City Council, recognizes diverse personalities from the world of gastronomy and wine culture. This distinction is awarded to professionals with careers that have contributed in an extraordinary way to the profession, as well as to the dissemination and promotion of gastronomy inside and outside Spain.