EYCA 2023_Alessia Fisichella

Alessia Fisichella, from Sicily to the EYCA 2023

“I love cooking especially because, when I am in a kitchen, I feel free to express my creativity,” affirms Alessia Fisichella, the finalist who will represent Sicily, European Region of Gastronomy candidate 2025 at the 7th European Young Chef Award.

Alessia is 19 years old and got her high-school diploma in Food and Wine Industry and Hospitality with a focus on Culinary Arts from Don Pino Puglisi school in Centuripe, Enna (Italy). She has recently enrolled at the University of Catania, where she is studying Food Science and Technology. Over the past year, she has also gained some work experience at Voi Hotels’ Florania Resort in Simeri (Calabria, Italy), and TH San Teodoro Liscia Eldi resort in Sardinia.

“I have decided to become a chef because cooking is a passion that I have always had since I was very young, especially thanks to my aunt. It is precisely from my childhood memories that I find inspiration for my dishes,” claims Alessia.

“For all these reasons, it is a huge honour for me to participate in the European Young Chef Award 2023, as becoming an established chef would certainly be the fulfillment of a dream and life goal of mine,” she adds.

Besides becoming a chef, one of Alessia’s biggest desires is to travel and especially to visit New York.

At the European Young Chef Award 2023, Alessia will present her innovative version of Busiate, a type of fresh pasta typical from the province of Trapani served with broad beans cream, Nebrodi black pig’s guanciale (pork jowls) and almonds.

“In Italy, each region has almost infinite pasta shapes. In this competition, I want to take the jury on a virtual trip to Sicily and prepare busiate, a fresh pasta similar in shape to a long macaroni,” says Alessia.

The dish owes its name to the buso, that in Sicilian dialect indicates the stem of ampelodesmos mauritanicus (Mauritanian grass), a local herb used to create bundles, and essential to give the busiate its characteristic helical appearance.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 7th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by IGCAT and hosted by Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023. The competition will be held at the Lycée Hôtelier Le Touquet on 20-24 November 2023 and is supported by Hauts-de-France 2023 consortium members: Chambre d’Agriculture Hauts de France; CCI Hauts de France; Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat Hauts de France; Hauts de France Tourisme; Plateforme des Organisme du Tourisme; UMIH Union des Métiers et des Industrie de l’Hôtellerie; UniLaSalle; Programme Investissement Avenir; Caisse des dépôts; GIP Forinval Amiens; Région Académique Hauts de France; and Région Hauts de France.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.