A LOCAL pizza chef is in the final stages of a prestigious national competition.
Roberto Cinti will battle against other chefs in a bid to be crowned National Pizza Chef of the Year 2012.
The competition, organised by the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Organisation Association (PAPA), has been dominated by Scottish chefs in recent years but Roberto is aiming to bring the title to Southport.
Roberto, from Roberto’s Restaurant and Bar at Ocean Plaza, and another Sefton chef – Alex Lawless from Little Pizza Kitchen in Waterloo – will battle it out among 20 pizza chefs.
The two friends, who met in the same competition in 2010, reached the final after making it through the semi-finals held in Bolton last month.
They beat four other competitors to not only win a place in the final, but to be automatically shortlisted for the National Award.
The two have impressed judges in previous rounds, who look to see how well the chefs design a recipe based on a specific ingredient in four sponsored categories. Their ideas are required to be innovative and commercially viable, so they appeal to restaurants and shops.
They will now compete against each other and finalists from Scotland, London, the Midlands and the South West.
Alex, from Little Pizza Kitchen on South Road, said: “I really hope one of us can bring this award back to Merseyside and the North West and break the stronghold Scotland seem to have on it.
Roberto added: “It is a fun competition to enter and there is a great deal of camaraderie and support for each other sharing tips and ideas, however the national is a little bit different.”
The Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Industry Awards will be held at the Lancaster London Hotel in Greater London on November 15.