Parma, 29 September 2017. Parma and Barilla have once again confirmed their place as symbols of Italian cuisine worldwide, and pioneers in research and promotion of the peninsula’s gastronomic culture. The capital of the Italian Food Valley, famous the world over for delicacies like parmigiano and prosciutto, today saw the sixth edition of the Barilla Pasta World Championship draw to a close. The final was held at Academia Barilla, the international centre created to spread awareness of Italy’s gastronomic culture worldwide. Beating 19 competitors from 15 countries and 4 continents, the winner was Accursio Lotà, born in Sicily and a bright career in San Diego (CA), in the restaurant “Solare”, with his Dish “seafood Carbonara”.
Accursio Lotà, 32 years old, is from a small rural town in Sicily. He has always known he wanted to be a chef and after graduation, he was given the opportunity to work at the Four Seasons in Milan with Sergio Mei. At the age of 22 he moved to California where he experienced serving a meal to President Obama. After a period in Italy he went back to sunny Cali and he's today he’s chef at the “Solare” restaurant in San Diego, where he was elected Best chef in town from 3 years consecutively from 2014 on.
His winning dish is “Seafood Carbonara”: Accursio’s version of the most discussed and global traditional italian recipe is an explosion of barroque flavours and tastes of Sicily.
He took the Carbonara concept, and substituted the chicken eggs with seafood eggs. Green mandarin, and red mazara shrimps, classic ingredients from Sicily, gave the dish a Mediterranean flavour. Chef Lotà cooked seafood, scallops, red shrimps from Mazara del Vallo, cuttle fish and amberjack filet at a very slow temperature in guanciale fat, to resemble the rich meatiness of pasta Carbonara. In this way we have a new version of “Carbonara”, with no eggs and no dairy.
Paolo Barilla, Vice Chairman of the Barilla Group, said “The Barilla Pasta World Championship is now at its sixth edition and has once again proven how important it is for promoting Italy’s gastronomic culture, the linchpin of which is pasta. The championship rewards those that take our real cuisine abroad, and was created to celebrate pasta and showcase its versatility, its ability to adapt to cultures and societies that differ greatly from one another, without losing its identity. In fact, pasta brings people together: it binds them and encompasses tradition and innovation alike”.
“This success means a lot for me”, said Accursio Lotà, winner of the 2017 edition – “It was so exciting to be chosen amongst the 3 finalists, and actually winning has been amazing.” His dish explains Lotà’s vision of the future of pasta. “I work abroad, but due to my italian roots, pasta is already perfect in its simplicity. This is why the future of pasta in my opinion will be realized not only by reinventing pasta according to oneself, but by regenerating and reworking the classic accompaniments and sauces in new ways. This doesn’t mean to destroy our traditions, but it means to rethink and reimagine both ingredients and techniques.”
The journey continues...see you at the 2018 Barilla Pasta World Championship with delicious mouth-watering new pasta challenges!