A very lively morning that Wednesday, October 12 at EATALY New York, the “house” of the best Italian food&wine products, where you can taste delicious dishes and buy Italian specialties, but also appreciate the “school”, where to learn the culture of a better food for a better life.

The atmosphere was joyful and lively as usual during pesto competitions, clearly flavored with basil! The first “match” was played by Italian Firefighters who participated in the New York’s Columbus Day parade along with local firefighters. Massimo Durante, from Genoa, won. The second competition was attended by food&wine journalists and Chefs from New York, New Jersey and also from Brazil. The winner is Hank Balle, young Eataly’s Chef. Congratulations!

Chef Lidia Bastianich, of Italian origin, was the special Patroness of the competitions. She’s one of the most famous and beloved Chef in US thanks to her TV programs and best sellers cookbooks.

The jury, headed by Roberto Panizza President of Palatifini Association, was Lucia Pasqualini, Claudio Bozzo, Franco Aprile, Carlo Romairone, Ruthann Granito Riosi, Angelo Vivolo, Frank Fusaro, Elia Mannetta and Chef Cesare Casella. They tasted carefully all the “Pestos” (they were all pretty good, maybe too much salt somewhere!) and chose the winners: Massimo Durante and Hank Balle! They will be in Genoa to attend the Forth Pesto Championship on March 17, 2012.

The event  was organized in partnership with Liguria International and EATALY New York to highlight the quality of Ligurian products, the credibility of its food and wine Companies and also the glamorous landscape and cultural context in which they operate.

All pictures!