At the Pasta World Championships in Parma, Italy, one would expect the Italian chefs to have the home court advantage, but this year the top prize went to a chef based in Switzerland who surprised judges with a plate of mojito spaghetti.
According to The Local, the third annual Pasta World Championships were attended by 25 chefs representing Italian restaurants in 23 countries. Chef Luca Torricelli of L’Argentino restaurant in Lugano, Switzerland, was crowned the champion after judges were pleasantly surprised by his unusual competition entry, “Sicily prawns spaghetti with Mojito.”
The contest was open to chefs certified as Italian Cuisine Master Chefs, and consisted of an initial round and then a face-off between four finalists for the grand prize.
At the finals, Torricelli bested chefs Giorgio Nava of Cape Town, South Africa, who called his dish, “Cape Town Peppadew meets the best of Parma”; Armando Capochiani of Shanghai, who served a rigatoni with smoked cheese and white truffle; and Giuseppe Zanotti of Malta, who prepared an orecchiette with “smoked potato velvet sauce, pork sausage, dill essence, violet potato chips.”
The contest was organized by and took place at the Barilla Academy in Parma.
"Pasta has always been one of the world's most loved foods," said Paolo Barilla, vice president of the Barilla Group. "The idea of this championship is to make this product even more popular in the world, as a symbol of our culture and identity."