Swiss restaurant chef Luca Torricelli is the winner of the 2014 Pasta World Championship held at the cooking school Academia Barilla in Parma (Italy). Torricelli’s Mojito spaghetti with red Sicilian prawns nabbed the prize from 25 other chefs from around the world who competed in the preparation of Italy’s emblematic dish.
Barilla Group Vice President Paolo Barilla personally handed the golden trophy to the 29-year-old from Modena.
Torricelli is the chef of L’Argentino, a restaurant in the Swiss-Italian city of Lugano.
The prize was awarded by a jury of internationally renowned food professionals, leaded by Gianluigi Zenti, Director of Academia Barilla.
Paolo Barilla commented: «Pasta has always been one of the world’ most loved food. We have many chefs around the world, most of them of Italian origin, who are the greatest ambassadors of our cuisine. The idea of this championship is to make this product even more popular in the world, as a symbol of our identity and culture».
The jury awarded the first prize in 2012 to Yoshi Yamada thanks to his “Bavette with prawns, mussels, clams and squid”, and in 2013 to Giorgio Nava, with the recipe “Puglia Cavatelli with Broccoli velouté and Oregano flowers”.
Luca Torricelli prevailed over three other finalists: Giorgio Nava, winner of the 2013 edition and chef of “95 Keroom”, in Cape Town, South Africa, with the recipe “Cape Town Peppadew meets the best of Parma”; Armando Capochiani, of “Pasta Fresca da Salvatore”, in Shanghai, with “Rigatoni with creamy smoked cheese and white truffle”; Giuseppe Zanotti, a consultant for several restaurants in Malta, with “Orecchiette, smoked potato velvet sauce, pork sausage, dill essence, violet potato chips.”
The four finalists emerged during the preliminary stage which was attended by 25 international chefs from 23 countries. The chefs run among the best Italian restaurants in the world, with an important role as ambassadors of Italian gastronomic culture.
The Academia Barilla’s two days were characterized by an atmosphere of professionalism combined with creative fervor, which have seen the various competitors, and the jury as well, engaged in the debate on how to promote authentic Italian cuisine. Chefs and food experts from around the world debated how to defend Italian cuisine against counterfeiting and enhance the ability of market promotion of Italy’s food products.