The chef-owner of the three Michelin star Reale di Castel di Sangro in Abruzzo was in Madrid to pick up his award at the 18th edition of the annual celebration of gastronomy Madrid Fusiòn.
The only other Italian to have received the award to date is Massimo Bottura.
The theme for the congress this year was "Cocina esencial, la sencillez meditada" (Essential cuisine, caring simplicity), with attention also paid to allergies, intolerances and Artificial Intelligence.
On the overall theme, Romito gave a masterclass on ‘How simplicity elicits emotions in cooking’.
"The theme of the congress is simplicity and this is exactly what I have been looking for - throughout the life of the chef, but not in its sense of ease,” he said.
“Gastronomic simplicity is a resolution of complexity, a state that comes later having cooked and studied a lot." - Niko Romito
It was the simplicity in Romito’s cooking that led the jury to ward him the prize.
Romito "tends to enhance the material through a work in which simplicity is the result of a great process of complexity,” he said, “in which simplicity far from being a starting point is a moment of achievement”.
Another award at Madrid Fusiònwent to Alfredo Machado Díaz, from the El Barri Group in Barcelona, was also awarded the 'Best Pastry Chef Revelation.