Michelin-Starred chef, Stefano Cerveni, of Le due Colombe in Corte Franca, Italy is the winner of the 2013 premier IMAF Chef’s Cup, announced festival director Rossella Canavari.  After a close battle with top Michelin-starred chef, Rosanna Marziale of Le Colonne Restaurant in Caserta Italy during an exciting Gran Finale on Wednesday night at Il Fornaio, judges named Cerveni the final winner of a seven-stage competition in Italy.

More than 60 guests attended the exciting competition and enjoyed a delicious wine-paired dinner featuring Franciacorta Prosecco and Terre del Principe wines. Illustrious names from both the culinary and Italian communities were on hand, including Viola Buitoni, who acted as a translator for the evening; Robert Lee, president of Le Cordon Bleu, whose students assisted in the kitchen, and members of the America’s Cup organization. The two chefs presented the recipes that made them famous during the evening’s competition during individual cooking demonstrations. They then presented their dishes to a judging panel comprised of luminaries in media and food, while guests enjoyed each dish.

Judges included Anthony Fossani, Chef for the America’s Cup, Liam Mayclem of KPIX CBS’s Foodie Chap, Mauro Cirilli, sommelier of Press Club San Francisco, Amy Sherman of the Cooking with Amy blog and Maurizio Mazzon, Corporate Chef of Il Fornaio. The chefs’ dishes will be judged by three variants - tastiness, faithfulness to the theme, and presentation.

“It was so hard for these chefs to go head-to-head in the competition as they have become such good friends in this process, originally winning as a team,” said Rossella Canevari. “The high quality of their work and the resulting food proves that everyone is a winner.  We were so thrilled to share Italy’s winning chefs with food lovers in San Francisco and around the Bay Area.”

The Italian competition began in Italy with 12 Michelin-starred chefs in a seven-stage competition, which took place throughout Italy in Rome, Florence, Parma, Milan, Perugia, Venice and Viareggio earlier this summer. Chefs created two dishes inspired by the arts during a cooking show performance. The dishes were then were tasted and judged by a discerning jury of food critics as guests of the competition enjoyed a delicious meal of the top dishes. Once moved to the U.S., the competition has received intrigue from the San Francisco Chronicle, Gastronomique en Vogue and
A huge range of support was provided through sponsors Grana Padano, Ferarelle, Franciacorta Prossecco, Terre del Principe wines, San Anselmo Inn, and partners at the Italian Consulate and Le Cordon Bleu. The IMAF Chef’s Cup looks forward to continuing to build on the first year’s success of the competition. Photos and videos can be found here
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