Lonely Planet Writer

Zut alors! A Frenchman has won the Pizza World Championships in Italy

Dannazione! While the modern pizza may have originated in Naples, Italy, a Frenchman has just scooped the crown at the 25th edition of the Pizza World Championships in Parma. Ludovic Bicchierai who works at the Pizzeria Le Gusto, just outside Marseilles, was crowned the world’s best pizza-maker at the competition in Parma, thanks to an unusual seafood pizza inspired by the French fish soup, bouillabaisse.

Ludovic Bicchierai from Pizzeria Le Gusto, winner of the Pizza World Championships in Parma. Image: https://www.facebook.com/Le-gusto-pizza/
Ludovic Bicchierai from Pizzeria Le Gusto (centre), winner of the Pizza World Championships in Parma. Image: Pizzeria Le Gusto Facebook

There was nothing fishy about that fact that Bicchierai triumphed over 650 pizza-makers from 35 different countries with his unusual and original pizza, which was topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, prawns, courgette flowers, bream carpaccio and Tabasco sauce. His prize included a voucher for 1000kg of free flour, and of course, the prestige of taking the crown from the Italians, who have only missed out on the top honour on two previous occasions.

Both famed for the excellence of their food, France and Italy are friendly culinary rivals, a fact that wasn’t helped when Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, declared recently that Italian wines had overtaken French wines in terms of quality. This, we suspect, will lend an added deliciousness to the fact the pizza-making crown has found a Gallic home this year.

This is the second time that Frenchman Bicchierai has entered the prestigious competition, and his triumph comes after he decided to use the traditional bouillabaisse French fish soup as his inspiration. Hopefully, it will be of some consolation to the Italians that second and third places were taken by Alfio Russo and Nicolo Cusumano, respectively, who both come from Sicily.