Australia’s best pizza is revealed as Melbourne’s 400 Gradi Johnny di Francesco takes top spot at the World Pizza Championship
A Melbourne-based pizza maker has claimed the title of Australia’s best after finishing top in the country at the World Pizza Championship in Italy.
Since 1991, the annual global competition has ranked the best of the best to determine who makes the best pizza.
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At this year’s event, more than 700 participants from 52 different countries competed to be named the winner of the prestigious competition, with Melbourne’s own Johnny di Francesco emerging victorious for Australia.
The founder of the 400 Gradi restaurant chain won Best Australian Chef Triathlon, Pizza Napoletana STG, Gluten Free Pizza & Pizza in Pala (Paddle Pizza).
The award-winning chef has been following his passion for Italian cuisine since he got his first job at a pizzeria after school at the age of 12.
Since opening his restaurant in 2008, 400 Gradi has spread throughout Melbourne and Adelaide, reaching the United States.
Although he did not place first overall in his categories, di Francesco was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the championship.
Sicilian pizza chef Criminisi Giuseppe secured top spot in the Classic Pizza category, while Vincenzo Mansi from Campania won Best Napoletana Pizza STG and Clemente Valentino from Tuscany won Best Pan Pizza.
Antonio Di Tella from Tuscany was crowned best Roman pizza, while Domenico Vassallo from Veneto took home the title of best gluten-free pizza.
In a skill competition, Daniele Pasini from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region won the larger pizza competition, Spaniard Francis Tolu Botella won the freestyle, and Andrea Bandinelli was named the fastest pizza maker.
The three days of competition of the 30th edition of the World Pizza Championship took place in Italy from Tuesday to Thursday.