Pasta World Championship 2019: Keita Yuge from Japan is the new “Master of Pasta”

Paris, October 10 and 11, 2019, two days of breathtaking and thrilling contests that saw 14 young chefs from all over the world compete: the eighth edition of the Pasta World Championship 2019, the culinary event that features Barilla’s mission to make global the message of excellence of pasta, attracted an audience of more than 350 including journalists, experts and foodies.

A message that was made even more impacting by the origin of talented young chefs from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Japan, Greece, Italy, Norway, United States, Sweden and Switzerland.

To judge them Barilla called the best of the food and lifestyle worlds, an exceptional jury made up of true experts: three top chefs like the Italian Davide Oldani and Simone Zanoni and the French Amandine Chaignot, who had the task of assessing technique and creativity, whereas two experts like the content creator Ashley Alexander and the architect and designer Paola Navone focused on dish look and mise en place. Not only that, the event was presented by Stéphane Rotenberg, French journalist and presented of the TV show “Top Chef”, who played the role of Master of Ceremony, and by chef Lorenzo Cogo who played the role of Master of Gastronomy.

For the occasion, the amazing Pavillon Cambon turned into an Art Gallery with the works by Olimpia Zagnoli.

Choosing the French capital as venue had a double value, namely celebrating the wealth of culture, art and gastronomy that this city enshrines and conveys, which is very close to the topic “The Art of Pasta” selected to represent this edition, but also the 50th Anniversary of Barilla in France.


A three-round challenge during which the young chefs competed in the kitchen with the aim of winning the title of “Master of Pasta”, an award that acknowledges personal preparation, innovative and technical vision, all dressed with the taste of a product-symbol of Italian taste: “The Masterpiece” , i.e. the dish featuring technical expression and creativity applied to the concept of «Beautiful, Good, Healthy», the three pillars that summarise pasta; “The White Canvas” exemplifies a new gastronomic approach through a recipe that can combine creativity and wellbeing, and then the “Grand Finale” where the 4 finalist chefs proposed again the dish presented in the first round, but with an additional touch.


The winner was Japanese Chef Keita Yuge with a recipe that combined in harmony a vision of pasta that blended Oriental elements with typically Italian ones. His proposal of “Penne gorgonzola profumo giapponese” is evidence of the versatility of pasta, its ability to adapt to any culture and cuisine. In Keita Yuge’s recipe, the oriental element is a sauce made with oysters flavoured with Japanese «Sake, Sansho, Yuzu» and the addition of Sake to the Gorgonzola sauce.


Not only competition, the Pasta World Championship 2019 was also a talk on “Food, art and aesthetics” with the two-jury members Paola Navone and Ashley Alexander, and a live cooking of Chef Amandine Chaignot. Different forms of entertainment during which pasta highlighted the need to be read and interpreted from different viewpoints, but always linked to its artistic value, its ability to take on shapes that change from time to time. Because pasta is colour, aroma, taste and even sound. Thanks to the surprising live music performance “The Sound of Pasta”, performed by the Food Ensemble Orchestra and Chef Davide Oldani, a dish of “Puttanesca con rafano” released musical and melodic sensations.

The cooperation between Barilla, Oldani and the Food Ensemble aroused curiosity and conquered the audience already during the previous Pasta World Championship 2018. A year later, the sound of pasta becomes a Symphony in a collection of four music tracks on vinyl.