We can go for more: Restaurant wins fourth World Parmo Championship in a row
The owner of a Teesside restaurant says they have “stamped their authority” on the World Parmo Championships by winning it for a fourth time in a row.
A parmo, or Parmesan, is a dish local to Teesside which combines breaded chicken or pork with a bechamel sauce and cheese topping.
Borge, a restaurant in Stockton, defended its crown in the culinary contest despite a three-year hiatus to the contest – its previous edition being held in 2016.
“We’ve got it back again,” owner Fash Khalili told the PA news agency.
“We absolutely feel we’ve stamped our authority on the championships… and we can go for more.”
The 53-year-old, who has run the restaurant since 1984, added the establishment is dedicating victory to former head chef Craig Wilson.
“Craig Wilson was with me for 30 years, but unfortunately a couple of months ago he passed away at the age of 50,” Mr Khalili said.
“He did a lot for it and was part of the team that brought us to where we are – it’s absolutely great we can pay tribute to him through this, he was a great guy.”
Seeing off stiff competition from 30 fellow eateries, including one from Brisbane, Australia, Borge’s parmo was the highest rated amongst a panel of eight judges at the championship finals at Middlesbrough Town Hall.
“For a good Parmesan you need good ingredients and you need patience,” said Mr Khalili.
“The main ingredient is the bechamel sauce and it’s got to be done slowly – you can’t rush it.”
The annual World Parmo Championships had not been held since 2016, but returned this year.
“The winner was a popular choice, but the standard was exceptional,” said Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston.
“We will build on this and make it bigger and better and even more fun next year.”
Mr Khalili added: “From children to grandparents, everybody loves Parmesan and it’s great to have it back on the scene.
“The competition promotes the region and nowhere else has it – it’s good to be out there again and be promoted.”