East Side Mario’s Sydney Wins Barilla Pasta Challenge


VAUGHAN, Ont. — East Side Mario’s Sydney’s Sai Govind Thannenkattil Surendran is the 2022 Barilla Pasta Challenge Winner.

Govind joined the East Side Mario’s Sydney team in October 2019 as a prep cook. Since then, he has blown everyone away with his infectious smile and natural culinary ability.

The competition began on Apr. 28 and included competitors from more than 68 East Side Mario’s stores across Canada. Contestants competed in three rounds to create the best pasta dish. Dishes were critiqued by a panel of esteemed judges, including Paul Pascal, East Side Mario’s COO.

Only four contestants, Darryl Danniels, Guelph, Ont.; Thomas Synott, Owen Sound, Ont.; Adam Cochrane, Peterborough, Ont.; and Sai Govind Thannenkattil Surendran, Sydney, N.S., made it to the final battle at Recipe Unlimited’s head office.

Guests can try Surendran’s award-winning Tuscan Chicken Spaghetti until Nov. 27 at all East Side Mario’s locations across Canada.

“The Barilla Pasta Challenge was a wonderful opportunity for East Side Mario’s to celebrate our people and their culinary skills and inspire them to put their best to the test. We are very excited to feature Sai’s winning dish on our new feature menu for all our guests to enjoy starting Oct. 12,” says Pascal.

“It was such an amazing experience to be able to meet and compete against everyone in this competition, and it will always be a memorable part of my life,” says Surendran.

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