The world champion of pesto

Pesto world championship

Pesto world championshipPhoto: Shutterstock / Anthony Feoutis

The best pesto in the world is made by Mattia Bassi from Genoa, 56 years old, a naval engineer who lives on the Acquasanta hills in the western part of Genoa.

Bassi beat the 100 competitors from all over the world who, on Saturday March 23, challenged each other in the World Championship of Pesto Genovese judged by 30 experts from all over the country.

During the final two others were awarded prizes: the oldest competitor, 90-year-old Maria Carbone, from Davagna, a small town in the Genoa hinterland, and Kelly Rocha who won in the earlier stages of the competion in Itajaì in Southern Brazil (almost 10,000 kilometres from Genoa).

Other foreign contestants also took part in the final: Nyusuke Ota, a Japanese chef who is currently doing work experience in Florence, and Jeanne Beauvais, from Paris, who was selected during one of the preliminary rounds held under the Eiffel Tower. Others came from: the United States, Spain, England, Holland, Germany, South Africa, Malta and Switzerland.

What was his secret?

40 minutes were allotted to each competitor to make the best pesto and to win this coveted prize as the world’s best pesto chef. The jury was composed of industry insiders, journalists, technicians, researchers and food bloggers. The winner, Mattia Bassi, said his secret was, “working with his grandmother’s mortar and pestle”.

President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, who never misses the event, said, “Pesto represents the essence of our land, its traditions handed down from generation to generation”.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.