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The ‘King of Cheese’ bestows a design competition

The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium is calling on designers to elevate tools, creations for the kitchen.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, an organization in Italy that is nearly 100 years old and facilitates the trade and consumption of the “king of cheese,” as it's often referred to, has introduced its first-ever innovation challenge for products and ideas that look to elevate how consumers cook at home.

The organization does work with retailers around exclusive offerings and using the product inside store brand products, protecting how the cheese is used and branded, too. The contest, co-sponsored by renowned Italian design companies Kartell and Alessi, is reaching design students and professional product designers to create concepts in categories such as cooking utensils, eating accessories and dining furnishings.

The Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge 2021 aims to inspire creations and concepts around knives, cutting boards, cheese graters, plates, tablecloths, and any other item that can inspire how consumers cook a meal.

The Design Challenge will be judged by a panel of respected design professionals including PepsiCo Chief Design Officer Mauro Porcini, award-winning pluralist Karim Rashid, the celebrated design team of Aysel Birsel + Bibi Seck, Philips Head of Design Richard Eisermann,  and Pietro Rovatti, brand director, Parmigiano Reggiano.

 The jury will select gold, silver, and bronze winners from each of the three categories and, from there, select an overall Best in Show. The winners will receive awards and gifts from the sponsors, including Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The Best in Show will win a trip to Italy for two, including VIP tours of the sponsors facilities and a visit to a Parmigiano Reggiano caseificio.

"The Consortium is honored to shine a spotlight on budding creativity by hosting this Design Challenge,” says Nicola Bertinelli, president of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium.  “More than an exceptional cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano is truly an icon of Italian authenticity, craftsmanship and quality. As part of our commitment to these values, we are launching this new design competition to encourage and celebrate the concept of authenticity.”

 In addition to the competition, Kartell and Alessi will host panel discussions to spotlight design trends and a ceremony to celebrate the winners. The Design Challenge will be taking submissions until Sept. 15, with official winners announced in October 2021.