The head chef of a vegan and gluten-free Italian restaurant has received an award recognising him as the UK's best pasta chef.

Antonio Alderuccio, founder of Plant Club, based in Stoke Newington, picked up the award at the PAPA (Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association) Awards yesterday (Thursday, November 10).

The Italian born chef presented his paccheri, a large tube pasta, with courgette, asparagus and terragon to the judges.

He served his dish with burrella, a dairy-free alternative to burrata, and Siracusa lemon.

Antonio explained: "The dish is a celebration of the transition between summer and autumn. That's why I chose the ingredients - the courgette comes at the end of the season and the asparagus at the beginning of the next. 

"I also used a few ingredients from memories of my past, like the terragon, and the toasted breadcrumbs which comes from a [traditional] way of making parmesan when there's no parmesan in the house."

Antonio competed against chefs from the pizza and pasta industry across the UK, under the eyes of judges including celebrity chef, Theo Randall, chef Enzo Oliveri, chef Carmelo Carnevale and Michael Eyre.

Hackney Gazette: Antonio's paccheri, with courgette, asparagus and terragon with burrella and Siracusa lemonAntonio's paccheri, with courgette, asparagus and terragon with burrella and Siracusa lemon (Image: Valentina Giora)

Antonio said he wants to, "eliminate the barrier between Italian food, which is mainly gluten and dairy", and people with intolerances.

He said: "We take them [gluten and dairy] off the board and we rewrite, minimally touching the history and the tradition of the food.

"But we don't do a mockup or something that's an alternative; we really do tasty Italian food.

"People at the awards were using meat, gluten, fish, all kinds of posh ingredients which everybody loves. But we achieved the victory with just courgette and asparagus - and a lot of technique!"

Plant Club is located at 49 Green Lanes in Stoke Newington.