12 people competed Saturday, March 22 in Vitoria-Gasteiz for best Pesto of the Basque Country: Marisol Arregui di Vitoria, Africa Lopez De Ipina (Vitoria), Javier Salvador Villa (Zumaia), Marta Grazielu Urruiia (Donosti), Josè Blazoore Hermosa (Zumaja), Josè Luis Morcuo Beogor (Vitoria), Alberto Busca Acuirre (Idiazabal), Txomin De La Hor Lebat (Donosti), Elida Diez Gomez (Samariego), Alberto Cadiranos Gaminde (Bilbao), Andori Gomez (Vitoria), Juan Jose Martinez Vinaspre (Vitoria). Marisol Arregui, of the Slow Food of the Basque province of Alava, won followed by Alberto Lopez de Busca Acuirre and Africa Lopez de Ipina. The participants, women and men of all ages and professions as is the custom of the Pesto Championship (this time employees, workers, cooks, fishermen and gastronomes) have elaborated on average a great pesto using the products and mortars brought from Liguria. The competition, which is valid for the final of the Genoa Pesto World Championship in 2016, was passionate and competitors supported by a stadium cheer.
Judges of the race were Alberto Lopez De Ipiña, President of Slow Food Spain and Portugal (who had accompanied the Spanish delegation to the finals of the World Championship 2014), Inaki Garmendia Rojo, expert gastronome (Bodega y Vinedos La Bastida) and, for the Cultural Association Palatifini, Sergio Di Paolo, Alberto Contini and Maurizio Valle. An accurate assessment of the quality of the Pesto and style of the competitors was also given by Stefano Di Bert, of the Antica Osteria Pacetti, invited by the organizers to return the hospitality offered in Genoa at great Basque chef Juan Jose Martinez Viñaspre, during the final of 2014 Genoa Pesto World Championship, for the presentation of Spanish foods during Pesto Party with Genova Gourmet.
The event was organized in the historic “Mercado La Plaza de Abastos”, with the support of Slow Food in the person of its president Alberto Lopez de Ipiña and the Municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Great entertainers and protagonists of the event, even for events organized by gastronomic side Inaki Rojo and Inigo Saenz Castro gastronomes, were the Basque “Sociedades Gastronomicas”, an extraordinary example of more than 250 associations, unique in the world of social and quality of life through the culture of food. It is no a coincidence that in the three provinces of the Basque Country, Alava, Guipuzcoa and Bizkaia, is concentrated the largest number of Michelin stars in the world.