September 17/Lyndhurst, N.J./PRNewswire -- Chef Mary Ann Esposito has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Premio Artusi Award. Esposito is the creator and host of the nationallytelevised PBS series Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, now the longest-running cooking series in television history at 25 seasons. She has served as a renowned ambassador for the Italian culinary arts, teaching millions of Americans the art of regional Italian cooking. Esposito is also a longtime partner of Filippo Berio Olive Oil.

The Premio Artusi Award, presented by Casa Artusi and the Italian city of Forlimpopoli, is named for Pellegrino Artusi, a 19th-century Italian financier who was born in Forlimpopoli and penned the influential Italian cookbook The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well. Written shortly after the unification of Italy, it was the first cookbook to include cuisine from all of Italy's regions. The Premio Artusi Award is presented yearly to individuals who dedicate themselves to celebrating Italian regional fare. Esposito received her award on September 14, 2013, in the city of Forlimpopoli.

"We are very proud of Mary Ann for receiving such a prestigious honor," says Dave Scheiber, vice president of Marketing, Filippo Berio Olive Oil. "As a partner of hers for the past three years, we've observed firsthand her incredible ability to nurture a love of Italian cooking traditions among her fans. She is highly deserving of such recognition, and exemplifies everything that this award embodies."

For two decades, Esposito has shared traditional Italian cooking techniques with audiences around the world. Through Ciao Italia and additional appearances on networks such as NBC, FOX, Discovery Channel and The Food Network, Esposito has preserved the values of Italian cooking and shared them with millions of Americans. As Filippo Berio Olive Oil chef-in-residence, Esposito also creates recipes and instructional web videos for consumers.  Esposito has been recognized by the president of the Italian Republic, the Italian Trade Commission, the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), Johnson and Wales University and St. Anslem College, who conferred an honorary doctorate for her dedication to teaching and preserving authentic Italian food and culture.

To celebrate Esposito's achievement, Filippo Berio Olive Oil will be donating $5,000 to the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation, whose goal is to continue the tradition of Italian cooking by providing scholarship to the next generation of authentic Italian chefs in the United States.

"It has been a privilege for me to be able to share Italian regional cuisine for the American public, and I am truly honored to be the recipient of the Premio Artusi Award," says Esposito. "At Ciao Italia, we are dedicated to carrying out Pellegrino Artusi's mission and sharing regional recipes that the everyday home cook can identify with. I'm immensely grateful to Filippo Berio Olive Oil, for their belief in presenting Italian food as it should be, and for their generous support of the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation."