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Pesto Championship

Let Your Passion for Pesto Take You Around the World!

In partnership with Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, the Columbus Italian Festival will host the inaugural Columbus Regional Pesto Championship on October 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm 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 main 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. For more information email Sameen Dadfar at sdadfar@columbussistercities.org.

What is the Regional Pesto Championship?

The Ohio regional championship will take place during the Columbus Italian Festival on Sunday, October 8 at 3 pm. Regional competitions are held across the globe with sites including Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Toronto and Rome. 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 taste, texture, and balance.

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.

How Do I Apply?

Visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/cbuspesto between August 8-29 to apply. The application is free. The field of contestants will be narrowed down to 10.

What is the Grand Prize?

The champion wins an all-expense, two-night paid trip to Genoa, Italy, to represent Columbus in the Genoa Pesto World Championship on March 18, 2018.

Did You Know?

Pesto gets its name from the mortar and pestle used in the traditional preparation. Pesto sauce originated in Genoa, Italy centuries ago, and every two years, Genoa hosts the Pesto World Championship. The Championship brings together 100 competitors from around the world to prepare pesto using the traditional recipe. Pesto sauce can be quite complex despite consisting of only seven ingredients: basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, olive oil, parmesan and pecorino. This regional event is brought to you by the Columbus Italian Festival, Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, Columbus City Council, Experience Columbus and the Ohio Restaurant Association.

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  • October 2017 Sunday, October 8, 2017 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Carfagna’s Traditional Stage

Taste of Italy



Italian Festival


with adult admission

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