Pizza News

2010 World Pizza champ coming to US

The 2010 World Pizza Champion, Theo Kalogeracos, is coming to America and he’s bringing his famous pizza oven with him. Already a huge hit in Australia, Theo Kalogeracos is known in the culinary world as a Master Pizza Chef. To say Theo is talented and passionate when it comes to pizzas is an understatement. For 15 years he has run a pizzeria, Little Caesars (no relation to the Little Caesars US chain), in the Perth hills suburb of Mundaring, Western Australia –, and recently a second pizzeria in the trendy suburb of Leederville. Customers drive from far and wide to enjoy the award-winning food and atmosphere. His great TV presence has also made him a household name in Australia.
Just like his pizzas, Theo’s journey to becoming a master pizza chef is original. He credits his Greek heritage, his family, evolution as a baker then pastry chef, strong work ethic and Italian mentor, Caesar Saraceni, as influencing the evolution of his award winning pizzas. He has become quite the TV personality in Australia. Some recent award titles include: 2010 World Champion Pizza Maker – Las Vegas Pizza Show, 2006 Las Vegas Italian Chef Wars Winner, 2004 member of Dairy Farmers Team Oz that won the America’s Plate, and 2003 Australian winner of Dairy Farmers Best of the Best.
Theo’s philosophy, when it comes to making pizzas, is about using quality, fresh produce and developing a taste sensation. He is far from being a traditional pizza maker and some of his pizzas are considered a little outside the box.
While his choices are sometimes thought bold – many would turn their noses at putting pasta on a pizza or creating a chocolate pizza – staying true to simple flavor principles and being a perfectionist has lead to the creation of a long list of delicious and award-winning pizzas. A few of those notable pizzas are:
Pisagne – combination of lasagna on a pizza, bolognaise sauce, pasta sheets and parmesan cheese
Chocolate Mud Honey – chocolate mud cake, honey, chocolate sauce, white milk and dark chocolate buttons, icing sugar.
Strawberry Fields – frangipani cake, strawberries, icing sugar, strawberry sauce, ice cream
Creating an ‘authentic’ pizza experience is integral to Theo’s pizzas – similar to a work of art. Theo views the pizza base as a ‘culinary canvas’ and then creates a flavor masterpiece. If he wants to create a Thai satay chicken pizza, it is created using fresh and authentic Thai ingredients. As well as ensuring the taste is spot on, Theo is also extremely visual when it comes to making pizzas – the pizza needs to look good and toppings need to be balanced.
“We eat with our eyes as well as our taste buds, so the pizza must look great and taste delicious,†says Theo. “When you cut the pizza into slices, each person needs to enjoy the flavors. That’s why balancing the toppings across the pizza is really important.â€Continuing with his passion for everything pizza, Theo will be branching out with his Theo + Co brand with his award winning cookbook and a countertop pizza oven for the U.S. market in the coming months. Theo is excited to be bringing his pizza passion and knowledge to the US.
The 200 page cookbook, Theo + Co – The Search for the Perfect Pizza, is a labor of love and much more than an instructional pizza cookbook. Theo has put his heart, soul and pizza recipes into the book to equip people to make world class pizzas in the comfort of their home. It has been a major success in Australia, first released as a hard-cover, followed soon after by a paperback edition.
The book is published in Australia by UWA Press. It has exceeded all of their expectations and has been their most successful published book to date. The cookbook is currently being updated and converted to the US metric system for release in the United States.
The Theo + Co Pizza Perfector is an easy to use countertop electric pizza oven designed by Theo. With a rotating tray for even cooking; an automatic timer and upper and lower heating elements, it cooks a perfect pizza in 7 – 10 minutes. It also comes with an instructional DVD featuring Theo preparing dough from scratch in real time and tips on how to make the perfect pizza. Theo is working on re-designing the Pizza Perfector for release in the U.S. consumer market. Expected launch will be in three to six months.
Bringing the cookbook and pizza oven to the U.S. makes perfect sense for a pizza enthusiast like Theo. “While Australians like pizza, Americans LOVE pizza and I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the diverse US pizza culture.â€
Theo hopes to share his knowledge about pizza making with American families on a budget. “Using quality, fresh ingredients, the whole family can come together to create their meal and share some quality family time.†He sees a future where kids and their parents can have fun cooking and experimenting together with unique ingredients and toppings.
To prepare for his book and pizza oven launch in the US, Theo will be hitting the TV and print circuit and doing cooking demonstrations over the next few months, providing fun and easy cooking tips and great recipes. Theo hopes you’ll join him on his journey to making great pizzas.