March 4, 2021

Italian Cuisine Connects People: The Pasta Challenge

On occasion of Gulfood 2021 (Dubai, 21-25th February), in collaboration with TUTTOFOOD Milan Fair and the Emirates Culinary Guild, ITA- Italian Trade Agency in Dubai launches a unique challenge among Italian Restaurants in the UAE to celebrate how Italian Cuisine Connects People

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

Hundreds of recipes, flavors and aromas that characterize 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 recognizing 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, from spaghetti to ragù, pasta recipes are synonymous with Italy’s gastronomic delights and one of the most eaten dishes around the world. According to international research commissioned by the Italian Food Union and the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), global consumption of pasta grew by 24 percent 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 “Tuttofood Pasta Challenge – 1st edition in the U.A.E.”

During the first phase of the contest, the 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 Emirates Culinary 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 20th, 2021.

The Final challenge will take place on February 23rd 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) https://www.tuttofood.it/en/

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