The 2017 Columbus Pesto Championship

The 2017 Columbus Pesto Championship

Image by the Palatifini Association

In partnership with Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, the Columbus Italian Festival will host the inaugural Columbus Pesto Championship on October 8, 2017 to crown the city’s premiere pesto maker. The winner will represent Columbus and advance to the World Pesto Championship in Genoa, Italy.

Ten local contestants will compete during the Columbus Italian Festival on the traditional stage in hopes of becoming the next world pesto champion. Contestants must be 18 years of age and available to travel to Genoa, Italy for the finals.

What is the Columbus Pesto Championship?

Genoa, Columbus’ first sister city, is the birthplace of pesto and the Palatifini Association hosts the Pesto World Championship every biennium to celebrate the tradition behind making pesto by hand. Regional competitions are held across the globe with sites including Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto and Rome. This is the first year that Columbus will be among the cities represented at the competition. To select the finalist, ten competitors will have 30 minutes to prepare pesto using the traditional mortar, pestle and the championship recipe (ingredients and recipe will be provided). The winner will be determined based on the taste, texture, and balance of their pesto at the event.

When is the Competition?

The Columbus Pesto Championship will take place during the Columbus Italian Festival on Sunday, October 8 at 3:00 pm.

Who Can Compete?

Anyone! You do not need to be a chef to apply, however you do need to be a willing, enthusiastic ambassador for Columbus! You must be 18 years of age and available to travel to Genoa, Italy in March to compete.

What is the Grand Prize?

The Columbus regional winner will receive airfare and lodging so that they may represent Columbus in the Genoa Pesto World Championship held in Genoa’s historic Palazzo Ducale on March 18, 2018.

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