This is the novelty of this edition. The presence of an international pizza competition which includes several categories bringing together around fifty participants. A high-level competition concluded this Sunday with the first national dessert pizza competition.
French champions, world champions, around fifty participants and an exceptional jury. The international pizza competition organized with the chocolate fair made a remarkable entrance on the Place Saint-Nicolas. For a first, the public was able to appreciate the precision, the gestures and the passion of the pizzaioli involved in this fierce competition. Men and women from Spain, Italy and all over France, sometimes even from Reunion: “It was an anomaly not to have a competition of this type in Corsica, confides Stéphane Pileri, the owner of Pizza Niulinca in Bastia, in the team of organizers. Without the chocolate fair, the competition would never have been possible.”
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Affiliated to two official federations, the competition can boast of having a jury made up of three world pizza champions and a French champion. The winner will automatically be registered for the World Pizza Championship and qualified for the French Championship. All for a total prize money of 5,000 euros. It must be said that the criteria for gleaning the first places are demanding.
“Pizzas that can be found in the most beautiful competitions”
Quality of ingredients, outfit of the candidate, display, technique, ease, taste, are among the boxes to tick with more or less high coefficients. All within a given time, i.e. 12 minutes maximum to make the pizza, cooking included. During the “classic” competition, the queen event of the competition, the competitors were able to give free rein to their imagination to seduce the jury. Lobsters, prawns, beets and other ingredients paraded, put into osmosis by the expert hands of the competitors: “When I talk about it, it gives me chills,” confides Stéphane Pileri, extremely proud to be able to experience the event.
Microphone in hand, Pascal Poupon, the president of the jury, world champion of pizza in 2013 in Parma, the toughest tournament in the world, can savor the moment. For his part Paul Pierinelli, owner of the chocolate fair, supervises the operations, the spirit already turned towards the dessert pizza competition: “Restaurants are making more and more dessert pizzas. We are no longer into nutella pizza. It’s a real dessert, much more elaborate. And the biggest restaurants are getting into this niche.”
It is enough to see the emulation around the event to realize it. Ludovic Bicchierai, who came from Marseille with a 2016 world champion title gleaned in Parma, to serve on the jury in Bastia, makes the observation: “I see pizzas that are found in the most beautiful competitions around the world. It’s well done with real quality,” analyzes the one who has just opened the national pizzaiolo training center (CFNP) near Marseille.
The level of the candidates and their diversity are enough to confirm the success of this first. Like Thierry Gourreau at the head of several “Mam’Zelle pizza” brands, who came straight from Reunion, with his whole family, to compete in the “classic” category: “It’s an opportunity to discover the country with the children but also to test new producers and flavors. I recovered chestnut flour but also a good olive oil. I also see that the pizza makers of the micro-region participate in the competition. This is not always the case elsewhere. This creates emulation. This type of competition is also there to raise the level and discover new recipes.”
With this type of action, the chocolate fair also intends to gain in quality. The competitions for the best baguette in Corsica and the best chocolate viennoiserie pursue the same goals as the one dedicated to pizzas. To the delight of the public who came in large numbers.