The Italian Trade Agency in the UAE launches pasta culinary contest


On occasion of next edition of Gulfood, in collaboration with the TUTTOFOOD Milan fair and the Emirates Culinary Guild, ITA – the Italian Trade Agency in Dubai has launched a challenge for Italian restaurants in the UAE to celebrate how the cuisine connects people.

Everywhere in the world, people come together around a table, to enjoy and share much more than a delicious dish. This is even truer when it comes to Italian cuisine, especially pasta…

Hundreds of recipes, flavours and aromas that characterise pasta from each region, city and town in Italy have been captivating people around the world for decades. TUTTOFOOD Milan fair and ITAlian Trade Agency will use the international setting of the UAE and Dubai as a platform to discover how Italian cuisine connects people, inviting the chefs of local Italian restaurants to cook the pasta that best represents Italian heritage and is most enjoyed by international customers, specifically Emirati and GCC clients.

Pasta is so popular that last year marked the 10th anniversary of UNESCO recognising the Italian staple as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Its different shapes appeal to different audiences and cultures: while Italians tend to prefer short and striped shapes such as penne, Germans are more likely to prefer fresh pasta, while English and American consumers tend to choose long pasta such as spaghetti or linguine.

From tagliatelle to tortellini, and spaghetti to ragù, pasta recipes are synonymous with Italy’s gastronomic delights and one of the most eaten dishes around the world. According to an international research commissioned by the Italian Food Union and the Italian Trade Agency, the global consumption of pasta grew by 24 per cent during the lockdown last year. Almost 16 million tons of pasta were produced in 2019 – more than double compared to 20 years ago – out of which 3,5 tons (+4% yoy) by Italy, the first world producer.

Leading figures of the UAE’s F&B sector have already confirmed their participation at the “Tuttofood Pasta Challenge – 1st edition in the UAE”.

During the first phase of the contest, chefs are invited to make a video of the preparation of their pasta recipe and send it to the Emirates Culinary Guild for publication on their YouTube channel. The public, as well as the chefs of the Guild, will be invited to vote for the videos. On the basis of the results of this preliminary vote, two finalists will be announced on February 20, 2021.

The final challenge will take place on February 23 at the ITAlian Food Lab in Gulfood 2021.

A special jury composed by H.E. Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the U.A.E., Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner/ICE Dubai office, Che Uwe Micheel President of The Emirates Culinary Guild and international culinary experts including starred international chefs will choose the winner, who will get a sponsored trip to next edition of TUTTOFOOD fair in Milan (October, 22-26).

H.E. Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the United Arab Emirates, says: “As we continue to witness the success of the Italian food all over the world, we are proud to join forces in promoting the Italian culture and gastronomic heritage. By connecting our country’s history and know-how with present and future common challenges, our promotional effort is aimed at highlighting how much our creativity in mixing tradition and innovation in food can help improve not only our quality of life, but also our health and the planet. We really believe that high-quality food connects people as well as Italian beauty does. This is why we chose ‘Beauty connects people’ as the claim for Italy’s participation at the upcoming Expo2020.”