PARMA, Italy, April 16 (UPI) -- When the winner of the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) in Parma, Italy was announced, it wasn’t a local chef who was crowned champion -- it was a pizza maker from Down Under.
Johnny Di Francesco competed against 600 chefs from 35 countries and was able to emerge as World Pizza Champion thanks to his margherita pizza.
The winning pie from “Mr. Pizza” was made from ingredients including peeled tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt.
“It’s exciting to win a world pizza competition in Italy, the home of pizza. Amazing,” Di Francesco told the Herald Sun Confidential. “I was up against the best pizza makers in the world and I did everything right on the day. My dough was perfect, the ingredients were the same I use in my restaurant every day. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I did what I do in Brunswick every day.”
Di Francesco used Italian-imported flour, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil on the prize-winning pizza.
“It’s great to put Australia on the map. You don’t have to go to Europe or Italy to get quality pizza. We make world class products right here,” Di Francesco said. “My struggle has been trying to educate the Australian public about pizza. I want to keep it traditional.”
[Herald Sun Confidential]