Swiss chef wins Italian pasta contest

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Torricelli, 29, chef of Swiss restaurant l'Argentino in Lugano, poses with the trophy after winning the Pasta World Championship. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP
14:20 CEST+02:00
A Mojito spaghetti special triumphed at the pasta world championships on Friday, as a chef from Switzerland snatched the top prize from rivals of Shanghai, South Africa and Malta.

Luca Torricelli, chef at the "Argentino" in the Swiss city of Lugano won the third edition of the championships in Parma, Italy, with his dish "Sicily prawns spaghetti with Mojito".

Attended by 25 chefs from 23 countries, the annual event was founded to celebrate the iconic Italian ingredient.

Torricelli beat off stiff competition from three other finalists, including Giorgio Nava, a chef in Cape Town and winner of the 2013 edition, who presented the judges with the recipe "Cape Town Peppadew meets the best of Parma."

Armando Capochiani, a chef in Shanghai, made it into the finals with a smoked cheese and white truffle rigatoni, as did Giuseppe Zanotti, a restaurant consultant in Malta, who dished up orecchiette with pork sausage and violet potato chips.

The competition is open only to chefs who are certified as Italian Cuisine Master Chefs (ICMC), according to the Barilla Academy, which organised the event.

"Pasta has always been one of the world's most loved foods," said Paolo Barilla, vice president of the Barilla Group, describing the chefs as "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 culture and identity," he said.

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