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World Chocolate Masters 2022: here's who won the Italian final – Italian Cuisine

World Chocolate Masters 2022: here's who won the Italian final


The young pastry chef from Brescia won the first prize thanks to her skill and daring to create desserts with only vegetable ingredients.

Anna Gerasi is the winner of the Italian Final of the World Chocolate Masters, held today 2 February in Pollenzo, at the headquarters of Selmi Chocolate Machinery, top player in the production of chocolate processing machines, in Pollenzo. The final was organized by Chocolate Academy Milano by Barry Callebaut, leading international company in the production of chocolate and cocoa. An important victory for Anna, born and raised in the world of pastry, reached the top step of the podium of this competition thanks to experimentation, the ability to get involved with only vegetable ingredients, which have in fact opened a new trend of pastry tomorrow.

An international competition

Now Anna will represent Italy in the world final to be held in Paris at the end of October 2022. The World Chocolate Masters it is in fact the most important international competition dedicated to artisans, chefs and their creativity applied to chocolate in the world of pastry, chocolate and gastronomy. The candidates, who came from all over the world, started their preparation from March 2021 and will have to convince the jury thanks to their creative ideas, their vision and their talent. 21 countries participating in the contest, which will be held in Paris next October, and which will decree the best maître chocolatier in the world. In the race in Pollenzo with Anna Gerasi, the only female finalist, also Matia Ortiz, party chef of Il Marchesino in Milan, Diego Mascià, of the Cioccolateria Gelateria of Cristian Beduschi in Florence, Attilio Rebeccani, manager of the historic Marisa pastry shop in Padua, Antonino Maresca, consultant for restaurants and pastry shops, Stefano Bernardi, maître chocolatier and Head Pastry Chef at the Valle dell'Erica Resort in Santa Teresa di Gallura and Filippo Valsecchi, party chef at the family restaurant.

The sense of this competition

The World Chocolate Masters is actually a real observatory, thanks to which it is possible to understand the changes in taste, the expectations of consumers and consequently the trends of chefs and pastry chefs who intend to mark the pastry of tomorrow with their work. It is no coincidence that the theme of this year's edition is precisely Tomorrow, or all the suggestions and insights of tomorrow's pastry chefs. «The World Chocolate Masters is like Formula One in the world of chocolate and pastry – said Ramon Morato, Creative Director of Cacao Barry. The innovations revealed and displayed by chefs have always been a source of inspiration for chefs around the world. What will be seen in the competition will be exhibited in the best patisseries and chocolate shops of the next few years. In this edition we will encourage chefs to approach science, technology and design and rethink chocolate and pastry in these terms ".

The X factor of Anna Gerasi

Anna convinced the jury, made up of great professionals in the sector, thanks to the decision to set up all her work using only vegetable ingredients, making the realization of her works more difficult. Strength, determination and vision are his watchwords. She declares herself deeply attached to chocolate and uses it as the basis of all her creations. In particular, he recognizes his pralines as a workhorse: an explosion of chocolate in different shapes and tastes. The final in Paris would represent for her, as well as the realization of a dream, also a a source of great pride as she would be the first Italian woman to obtain such a result. On the benches of the jurors, Enric Rovina Montesinos, founder of Enric Rovina, a company producing high quality chocolate with a contemporary design; Davide Comaschi, winner of the 2013 competition in Paris; Loretta Fanella, best pastry shop in Italy 2007 and founder of Loretta Fanella Pastry Lab, a laboratory where you can learn all the secrets of the most innovative pastry; Vittorio Santoro, founder and president of CAST Alimenti, the school created to give professional dignity to the masters of taste; Maurizio Allodi, director of the Selmi Training Center chocolate training school and finally Luciano Varetto, master chocolatier and Selmi technician.

The tests to overcome

The seven competitors had to face 5 different tests related to different themes. The first was Design, and participants were asked to think like designers to create new formats for their chocolates, snacks and pastry ideas. The first test was a 3D artistic creation in chocolate, using the #TMRW inscription, made with Cacao Barry couverture chocolates and other cocoa derivatives. Six different techniques had to be used in the realization, such as molding, sculpture and other methods, also invented by the competitor. The second test consisted in the creation of a fresh single-portion, where three different textures were evident, consisting of one of the chocolates of the Cacao Barry range, a fruit that gave the idea of ​​freshness and a local ingredient produced by artisans of the place of origin. of the competitor. The third test required the creation of a chocolate snack, entirely vegan and based on pure chocolate. The predominant aspect had to be the design: it is the image, in fact, that determines the customer's purchase reaction. Bon Bon was instead the fourth test, in which the participant had to create a fresh praline, without emulsifiers, made with local products. The last test to pass consisted in creating a moodboard to illustrate one's idea and interpretation of the theme, motivating the choices through a story, that it was as engaging as possible.

Chocolate in Italian pastry

The use of chocolate has exploded late in Italy compared to the rest of Europe, but in a few years, thanks also to the cultural commitment expressed by Chocolate Academy and by its chefs, this ingredient has become indispensable in the best pastry shops but also in the most refined recipes of starred restaurants throughout Italy. The first Italian to win the World Chocolate Masters was in 2013 Davide Comaschi, trained at the school of Maestro Iginio Massari. After nine years, who knows it is not yet an Italian to get on the highest podium of this competition. We all cheer for Anna!

Porchetta di Ariccia: among the 5 unmissable dishes in the world according to the New York Times – Italian Cuisine

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It has very ancient origins and is a typical product of Central Italy. It is made with the meat of female pigs that is massaged with salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic and then stitched. It can be enjoyed alone or accompanied with bread, bread sticks, pizzas




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Many contend for the authorship of porchetta, one of the most popular street foods, which the New York Times has even included among the five typical dishes not to be missed in the world. Beyond the controversies, the village of Ariccia sui Castelli Romani can boast a millenary tradition, apparently dating back to Latins, for the production of this roast of pig spread throughout the center of Italy (Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria and Marche above all, but also Romagna and Abruzzo).

To be enjoyed in fraschette
And it is in the Ariccino territory preparing the Porchetta Igp, to be enjoyed all year round in the typical "fraschette"(ancient taverns) of the Castles, and in September in the historic Sagra, with costumed procession and throwing of stuffed sandwiches from a wagon in front of the Town Hall. To Ariccia many historical porchettari follow the ancient art of craftsmanship. THE pigs, only of female sex because they are leaner and tastier, they are boned and cleaned; then, again by hand, salted, massaged and spiced with a mixture of black pepper, rosemary and garlic. We then move on to tying and sewing around a steel pole and cooking in the oven, until the rind becomes crisp: the wood-fired ovens of the past have been supplanted by those in steel, electric or gas. Finally the cooling down, because the roast loses its moisture and keeps better. There pork, whole or in the smallest logs (7-13 kg), it must have a nice crunchy brown crust, softer in the girth.

The rind? Yes please
The meat, between white and pink, is fragrant and tender, with a taste savory and spicy, with a delightful texture contrast to the well roasted rind. Cut with a knife, the porchetta is tasted in all its fragrance al natural, cold or hot, together with homemade bread from Genzano, with a soft and light crumb, or from Lariano, of semi-integral soft wheat and cooked in a wood oven. Or in a sandwich enriched to taste with salad, grilled peppers or aubergines, cheese (provola, pecorino). It can also be used as an ingredient in cooking, to flavor pasta, pizza and savory pies. OR eat hot as a main course.

January 2022
Marina Cella

Posted on 21/01/2022

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The Italian truffle is a World Heritage Site – Italian Cuisine

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A great excellence of Made in Italy inscribed in the Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage: we are talking about the Italy of the truffle, guardian of a noble and historical tradition




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When we talk about cultural heritage, beyond tangible objects such as monuments, culturally important sites and from a naturalistic point of view, collections of artifacts, we also mean the whole immaterial sphere but no less vital and precious than the living traditions transmitted. from our ancestors, such as particular oral expressions, including language, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festivals, traditional crafts, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, i.e. United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture) has among its priority objectives to support and promote the transmission of intangible cultural heritage between generations worldwide: in 2003 it therefore adopted the Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, ratified by Italy in 2007.

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In recent days, the UNESCO Committee based in Paris added the "Truffle hunting and quarrying in Italy"In the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This is the qeleventh Italian element which is part of the long list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity recognized by UNESCO. It is also important to underline that this is the first national candidacy of intangible heritage that represents the theme of cultural biodiversity.
The practice of Truffle Search and Quarrying brings together culture, know-how and practices handed down orally for centuries, focused on the deep knowledge of the natural environment and the ecosystem, also emphasizing the relationship between man and animal, since it results from a real team work which combines the skills of the truffle hunter and the olfactory ones of the dog.
An important worldwide recognition of an ancient tradition that unites North and South of the Peninsula and which is declined according to the local cultural identity, handed down through stories, anecdotes, practices and proverbs – a knowledge that brings together rural life, protection of the territory and high kitchen.

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Unesco recognition therefore celebrates the end of a process that began eight years ago with the application of the truffle hunters' associations to the ministries of culture and agriculture, until March 2020, when the foreign ministry formally presented the candidacy. The practice of quarrying is a real secular art that includes research in the woods with dogs and the collection of precious underground mushrooms.

The work of the "trifolaio" is a centuries-old art that concerns various truffle territories in Italy: among the best known are the truffles originating from the Piedmontese Langhe, from San Miniato in Tuscany, Norcia in Umbria or Acqualagna in the Marche, but in reality the territories of truffles are found in 14 Italian regions. The candidacy, in fact, represents a network that unites about 76,000 truffle hunters and theirs truffle territories.

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To date, Unesco has so far recognized 630 elements in 140 countries around the world as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The fifteen Italian elements that are part of it (some in conjunction with other countries that share the practice) are these:

Truffle hunting and quarrying in Italy: traditional knowledge and practices (2021)
Falconry (2021) transnational with United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar , Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain and the Syrian Arab Republic
The art of glass beads (2020), transnational with France
The musical art of hunting horn players (2020), transnational with Belgium, France, Luxembourg
Celestinian Forgiveness (2019)
Alpinism (2019), transnational with France and Switzerland
Transhumance (2019), transnational with Austria and Greece
The art of dry stone walls (inserted in 2018), transnational with Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
The Art of the Neapolitan "Pizzaiuolo" (2017)
The sapling vine of Pantelleria (2014)
The Feasts of the Big Machines on the Shoulder for the processions (2013)
The Mediterranean Diet (2013), transnational with Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Morocco, Portugal
The art of the traditional luthier (violin) in Cremona (2012)
The Sicilian Puppet Opera (2008)
The Canto a tenore, Sardinian (2008)

UNESCO (https://en.unesco.org)

December 2021
Francesca Tagliabue
photo by Felice Scoccimarro / Alkèmia

We also suggest some recipes with truffles, easy to make but scenic and delicious, particularly suitable for festive tables, such as Potatoes with quail eggs and white truffle, Strozzapreti with porcini mushrooms, pumpkin and truffles, Truffle tajarin.

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Posted on 12/28/2021

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