May 29, 2018 |

2018 Pasta Showdown Competition Spots Open

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

Pizza & Pasta Northeast’s Pasta Showdown to showcase best pasta dishes

If you own a pasta shop, or even a pizzeria with pasta on the menu, you won’t want to miss the 2018 Pasta Showdown at the Pizza & Pasta Northeast (PPNE) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The two-day show, now in its second year, will be held October 3-4, 2018, at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

“We’re extremely excited to announce that the second annual Northeast Pasta Showdown is going to be sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board,” says Bill Oakley, group show director. “This year we’ll see 20 pasta perfectionists go head-to-head in this two-day competition to see who is the ‘Best Pasta Chef’ east of the Mississippi, if not the world. On Wednesday, October 3, each competitor will prepare his or her best dry pasta signature dish for our judging panel. On the second day, each chef will be asked to prepare a pasta dish from a table of common ingredients, with one primary ingredient to test his or hers skills to see who stands out from the crown on a level playing field. All dishes will be judged on their trueness to the Italian basic tenets of technique, presentation, flavor balance and taste. If you think you have what it takes, then this is your chance to prove you’re the ‘’Best of the Best.’”

Registration for both events opened Wednesday, March 16, 2018. Contestants must first register for PPNE before registering for any of the competitions.


Pasta Showdown Rules at a Glance

  • The competition is limited to the first 20 registrations.
  • Each chef/participant who enters the contest will be required to submit a recipe for their signature pasta dish, which will be presented to the judges on the first day of the competition.
  • Show management will provide the equipment, pots, pans and basic cooking utensils. However, contestants may bring their own utensils if they desire to do so.
  • Practice cooking your pasta al dente. Overcooked pasta will result in a point deduction.
  • The dishes will be judged by a panel of five experts on trueness to Italian cuisine’s basic tenets: technique; presentation; flavor balance and taste.
  • The second phase of the competition will require each of the 20 competitors to prepare another pasta dish on day two using a common table of ingredient — including one primary ingredient—to test creativity and imagination. This round forces everyone to create their own spin on a dish using common ingredients.
  • Entries may include any combination of ingredients, sauces and toppings. Every component must be placed together as a single judging portion. If a component to an entry, such as a sauce or condiment, exists outside of the serving tray, it will not be judged.
  • All competition entries must be prepared on-site during the competition. However, homemade sauces can be prepared off-site, if time will be an issue. Pre-packaged material/products that constitute an ingredient are permitted. However, if you are going to use a prepackaged or precooked ingredient(s), it must be approved in advance by the competition coordinator(s).
  • All cooks will be required to submit a printed recipe card with a list of ingredients and a brief description (50 words or less) of their signature dish prior to the start of the competition. Once recipe cards are submitted, competitors will be permitted to produce only that dish, without changes and/or substitutions. CONTESTANTS ARE NOT TO USE THEIR NAMES ON THE RECIPE CARDS.
  • Refrigeration and freezer access: Competitors will receive access to refrigeration beginning Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8 a.m.
  • Miscellaneous: If a specific piece of hardware, ingredient or other equipment is not identified in advance, competitors should assume it will not be provided. If you have a specific question about what is provided, you should contact show management in advance of the competition to verify. As an example: cook’s knife sets are not mentioned in this document; as a result, all cooks should assume they are to provide their own knives/utensils.

For a compete list of the rules, and regulations, visit here.

The Showdown winner will receive a $2,000 check and a trophy, as well as a plate on a perpetual trophy that will be on display at future contests. Second- and third-place prizes are $500 and $250, respectively.

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