Our Experience at The Pasta World Championship 2018
Words and photos: Michael Gardenia
On the 24th and 25th of October 2018, I was lucky enough to attend The Pasta World Championship along with more than 450 other pasta lovers.
The competition is now up to its 7th edition and this time, 18 chefs under the age of 35 competed. I spent two days watching the making of various pasta dishes, witnessing live cooking demonstrations and exchanging thoughts about pasta and its traditional importance in Italy.
In the end, the final two contestants were Toby Wang (Cina) and Carolina Diaz (USA). We all watched with excitement who would take the title of Barilla’s “Master of Pasta”.
Using all the components of tomatoes, Carolina created a dish mixing both sweet and acidic flavours with Italy’s favourite pasta: Spaghetti. She took her personality and skill and mixed it with Italian tradition to create flavours the judges couldn’t look past.
As I am currently collaborating with Barilla, the Pasta World Championship for me was a special experience and held great importance. It opened my eyes to a world of new pasta techniques but what was most special was the fact that I was sharing a love of pasta with not only Italians who enjoy this traditional food, but with people from all over the world.
I enjoyed every minute of it. From watching the competitors putting their heart and soul into cooking for the judges, to taking photos of my favourite dishes.
I feel lucky to have participated in such a well thought out and exciting event that shares the same values as what I believe: Food brings people together. This thought is what helped create Fusillo Lab and pasta is the treasure that inspired the name. What I really admire is how Barilla always involves the best chefs, people that I love to listen to and that always have something to share about the world of cuisine or simply ingredients. Thanks to Davide Oldani for the great speech and Pietro Leeman for the special recipes that I got to try with the new Barilla pasta made with legumes.
Even though I found everything about the event inspiring, the thing I valued most was that in fact, Barilla brought hundreds of people together to share an experience for like-minded individuals.
I had the opportunity to meet people I had been following on social media for years and share my thoughts and experiences, creating real friendships from what was only conversations online. Thanks to Barilla, we spent a great time together and enjoyed a cool “blue” dinner on the top floor of the Tower at Fondazione Prada.
In the end I want to share my gratitude for what was an amazing two days. The Barilla World Championship for me was unforgettable and something that linked food to people, reminding me of the way Fusillo Lab started: Gathered around a table, in good company while eating a dish of pasta, home made with love.