GMIT hospitality lecturer top of class of prestigious international sherry programme

Friday, October 30, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT hospitality lecturer Elizabeth Fox has been awarded a special prize for the highest result in the World Certified Sherry Educators Programme in Spain. 25 professionals from around the world gathered in Jerez in October to qualify as Sherry Certified Educators.

Sherry’s Regulatory Council invites industry experts from all over the world to this prestigious programme every year, which offers advanced theoretical and practical sessions over the course of three days. An intense evaluation test determines which students receive a diploma to work as a certified Sherry Ambassador.

Elizabeth Fox, who lectures in the GMIT College of Tourism and Arts, is a beverage specialist with extensive experience both in trade and education, and has held senior beverage management positions in the licensed trade sector for decades.

A member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Elizabeth holds a WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits and is a well-known expert in wine studies, contemporary beer studies, spirits and liquors and service skills.

Speaking after her win, Elizabeth said “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award from such a prestigious programme. Sherry consumption may be under-estimated in Ireland and I hope by becoming a Sherry Ambassador I can spread the word, taste and overseas excitement surrounding the beverage here.”

“I had the opportunity to experience the soil, vines and bodegas of Sherry but also network with top industry experts which will be of the utmost benefit to my students in GMIT. As Steve Jobs once said, "the only way to great work is to love what you do."

Gerry Talbot, Head of Dept, GMIT College of Tourism & Arts, says “Only 25 experts from all over the world are invited to take part in this prestigious programme. It is a great honour to be invited onto it and a fantastic achievement for Elizabeth to have won the highly competitive exam which involves a written paper, followed by a blind tasting of six Sherries, which had to be identified.  Elizabeth did us proud and we are delighted to have her share her knowledge and expertise on this 3,000 year old beverage with our students and staff.”

“Sherry professionals from Canada, North America, China, Japan, South America, UK and Ireland were invited to take part, and Elizabeth proved to be the best when tested on her knowledge and expertise.”

The objective of World Certified Sherry Educators Programme is to promote the role of educators at a national and international level, giving them a high degree of specialised knowledge about Sherry so as to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications to effectively transmit their knowledge and skills to students in the hospitality industry.

After eleven years, the programme continues to seek guarantees over the consistency and coherence of content in the training processes and materials used by the educators concerning the wines produced in the countries of origin.