United Kingdom-based pizzeria Purezza was the first vegan entrant to score an award during this year’s Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (World Pizza Championship) in Parma, Italy. The competition has been pitting pizzaiolos against one another since 1991 and welcomed more than 6,500 contestants this year. Purezza, the event’s first vegan entrant, won an award in the Pizza Classica (classic pizza) category with its “The Promised Land” pie. Purezza head chef Filippo Rosato prepared the winning entry which featured beer-infused whole grain pizza dough topped with stir-fried Tuscan kale, Italian-style marinated tempeh, pioppini mushrooms, and a sauce made with borlotti beans (also known as cranberry beans). For the cheese, Rosato used two of Purezza’s homemade varieties: an Italian brown rice milk-based mozzarella (dubbed “Mozzarella 2.0”) and a fermented cashew cheese with sun-dried cruschi peppers. Before being submitted to the judges, Rosato finished The Promised Land with a garnish of ginger purée, agave syrup, and vegan caviar. “The Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza is the gold standard of awards for pizzerias and pizza chefs around the world. It’s the competition that every pizzaiolo aspires to compete in,” Rosato said. “To even be there as the first vegan pizzeria was an incredible experience, but to have come away with one of the awards for the Pizza Classica category is more than I could ever have hoped for, and shows that vegan pizza isn’t just possible, it’s the future.” In 2015, Purezza opened in Brighton as UK’s first vegan pizzeria before expanding to a two-story London location and is currently working to open its own vegan cheese factory.
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