Battle of the Chefs: the 2018 SINA Italian Chefs’ Cup Contest

This week I attended the Rome leg of the Italian Chefs’ Cup Contest. The event is held within restaurants of Sina Hotels across Italy and Rome is one of the 10 cities to participate.

To date, the initiative has seen 92 Michelin Star chefs, 20 restaurants, 55 events in Italy and 5 around the world (San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and 2 in Thailand), 110 expert judges (of which 12 international and 98 Italian) and 30 generous sponsors. It continues to grow in popularity and it seems the stakes get higher year after year!

Round 1 in Rome wasn’t just your average dinner – as we arrived to the Giuda Ballerino restaurant rooftop (atop the SINA Hotel Bernini Bristol) there was something at each place setting you don’t come to expect – a set of headphones. Basically the dinner was designed to be enjoyed to the tune of Italian song and each dish was carefully crafted to match; musical experiential dining if you like!This round saw chefs Giuseppe Aversa, 1* Michelin (Il Buco di Sorrento) and Umberto De Marino, 1* Michelin (Florian Maison di Bergamo) battle it out with a guest dish by the Giuda Ballerino house chef Andrea Fusco!

Here’s what we ate, with the expert judging panel awarded Giuseppe Aversa the points for this round.

Giuseppe Aversa’s dish (a squid and octopus plate) was inspired by the popular Neapolitan folk song, “Torna a Surriento”.Umberto di Martino’s risotto with red prawn, burrata and orange rind by Mina’s “Ma che bontà”.Andrea Fusco, created his main dish of crumbed red mullet with liver pate filled shallots to the tune of The Beatles’, “Twist and Shout” and the dessert (butter toast with turmeric cream and rhubarb to “Too Much” by Elvis Presley.You can follow along to see what goes on for the rest of the challenges via the official event website and by following #chefscupcontest across social media.

Signing off from Trastevere,

Baci Maria

(Photos 1, 2, 3, 6 & featured image courtesy of Belinda Bortolan PR)

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