More than 80 people gathered for the first annual Festa della Sopressata competition at the North American Pizza & Culinary Academy in Lisle.
Hosted by NAPCA founder and master instructor Leo Spizzirri and his partner, founder and chef instructor Anthony Iannone, the four-hour event was as much of a party for friends and family of the 19 competitors as it was a serious tournament for the best homemade sopressata.
Judges included Frank DeCicco of the Calabresi In America Organization. “I was honored to be selected and humbled by the passion every contestant showed for maintaining this great Calabrese tradition,” DeCicco says.
Coming in first were Giacomo and Mario Manfredini, with second place going to Ross Morizzo and third to Frank Salerno. Many of the recipes had been passed down for generations. “This was more than a competition,” says Spizzirri, “It was about keeping a part of my Calabrese upbringing alive here in the United States. Making sopressata was something I remember doing with my family as a kid and we still do it to this day.”
While the sopressate were being judged and passed around to taste, guests enjoyed glasses of wine and a Calabresi luncheon buffet provided by NAPCA that included antipasto, frittata di supressata, purpette ccu sucu, ’nzalata, pasta e patate aru furnu and izza in teglia.
Festa della Sopressata was co-sponsored by Tempesta Artisan Salumi and the Calabresi in America Organization. (www.pizzaculinaryacademy.com)