Leading Italian food company Barilla has found its new Master of Pasta: Carolina Diaz, 34, of Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA, won the title at the seventh edition of the Pasta World Championship held in Milan on October 24-25. Competing against 17 other young chefs from all over the world, Carolina cooked a reinvented Spaghetti al Pomodoro that won over a jury that cumulated four Michelin stars. More than 450 foodies, industry professionals, press and influencers attended the event, that conveniently occured on World Pasta Day.
A Star Is Born: Carolina Is the First Ever Female Master of Pasta
Carolina’s Spaghetti al Pomodoro left the Italian judges beaming. Competing in the finale against Chinese chef Toby Wang, 33, from Beijing after a tough two days of intense culinary competition, she kept her tomato pasta dish simple. Carolina cleverly used every part of the tomato to make a dish that exemplified the perfect balance between acidity and sweetness. She added the stem to the sauce for an herbaceous component and used three different types of cherry tomatoes for the sauce.
“I’m truly honored, I did Italian my way,” said Caroline Diaz, American chef and winner of the 2018 Barilla Pasta World Championship. “I’m honored to be the first woman to win the Master of Pasta title, women are taking over and it’s time that our work gets recognized around the world.”
Carolina grew up in a large Mexican family outside of Chicago and learned how to balance flavors from her father’s cooking. After a few years working as a line cook, Carolina decided to explore Italian cuisine in 2012 to eventually join the Terzo Piano team at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 as Chef di Cucina. Carolina believes in using local, organic and sustainable products to cook delicious Mediterranean dishes with a Midwestern twist.
An International Culinary Competition
Eighteen chefs under the age of 35 from 17 different countries and Italian cruise line Costa Cruise participated in the single-elimination tournament, now in its seventh year. Under the theme “Eat Positive,” the Championship offered a unique look into the importance of pasta in a healthy diet, from live cooking demonstrations, tastings and conferences on the role of beauty in food, wellbeing and sustainability from field to table.
“The 2018 Pasta World Championship was an amazing success”, added Raffaele Daloiso, Chief Marketing Officer at Barilla Group. “At Barilla, we want to encourage the next generation of talented chefs to express themselves through pasta and ultimately inspire food lovers across the world to eat in a positive and healthy way.”
Just in time for World Pasta Day on October 25, Barilla revealed its very first legume pasta line made entirely of red lentil flour and chickpea flour. The new Barilla Penne Red lentils, Casarecce chickpeas and Fusilli Red lentils were launched as part of Barilla’s continuous efforts to encourage a greener, more sustainable food chain.
Great Support from the Food Industry
Michelin-starred chefs Lorenzo Cogo, Viviana Varese, Luigi Taglienti and Holger Stromberg as well as US food photographer and influencer Brittany Wright formed the jury. Chef Davide Oldani, Barilla brand ambassador and one of the most fascinating thinkers in the Italian food world, joined as well for the last challenge. John Dickie, best-seller author and professor, and Francesca Romana Barberini, author and personality, acted as masters of ceremony. Kitchen Theory Co-Founder Jozef Youssef, Swedish TV presenter and ex-model Filippa Lagerbäck and basil farming trailblazer Giuseppe Bonati joined the event as speakers.
The event was made possible thanks to the participation of ten exceptional partners and leaders in their own categories: Pentole Agnelli (professional cookware), Smeg (home appliances), Lavazza (coffee), Acqua Plose (gourmet water), METRO Italia (quality and innovative services for Food and Hospitality sector), Costa Cruises (cruises), LAGO (design and furniture), Zanussi Professional (professional kitchens), Bragard (professional clothing) and Aperol Spritz (spirits).