17th of March, 2007
Salone del Maggior Consiglio
Palazzo Ducale, Genova
The first "Genoa Pesto World Championship" was held in Genoa's historic Palazzo Ducale, Saturday the 17th of March 2007. The competition has been organized by 'PalatiFini', a cultural and gastronomic association, whose name means 'Refined Palates'. All contestants were required to make their pesto exclusively with a mortar and using only authentic ingredients.
100 competitors coming from all over the world participated to this championship. The youngest was a 22 years old chef, the oldest had his 86th birthday a few days after the championship. The farhests came from Paris. The winner was Luciana Parodi, 68 years old, housewife, from Genoa. The prize for the World Champion was, besides the glory and the world fame, a real pestle made in olive-tree wood with the handle plated in gold, worth about 1,000 euro. The main idea is to preserve our specific traditional excellence and at the same time to protect our future ("basil pesto does not only belong to the past but especially to the future of nutrition"). Many economics and cultural associations as well as local institutions are strongly supporting this initiative.
In conjunction with the championship, many other events were organized: a convention about the production and peculiarities of authentic Genoese basil, an exhibition of historical mortars lended by Genoese families, gastronomic and commercial events organized by restaurants and trade associations.
Basil pesto is the second most produced sauce in the world. It was born in Genoa and it represents the city of Genoa and is a beloved symbol of Ligurian region of Italy. This championship aims to remind the world of pesto's Ligurian origins as well as its universal character as a tasteful and high quality food.
The second edition is scheduled for saturday the 19th of april 2008. Selection races will be organized in Ligurian provinces and also in other international locations particularly sensitive to pesto, like San Francisco and Tokio.
To get more information, please do not hesitate to contact us!