It was a show of perseverance and camaraderie this past weekend when dozens of pizzaiolos came together to set a new Guinness World Record for the World's Longest Pizza on Saturday, June 10, at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
A team of experts and pizza legends, including Giulio Adriani, Fash Asvadi, Mario Vollera, Fred Mortati, Chris Suplicki, Jimmy DeSisto, Tony Gemignani and John Arena, led the feat. The pizza to beat was one that reached 6,082 feet, a record set in Naples, Italy, just over a year ago.
The pizza made in Fontana, California, had to meet strict health code regulations for California, allowing only four hours from the time it entered the oven until it was distributed to eat.
Pizza makers worked overnight, par-baking and wrapping the mile-long crust, which was cooked on top of chicken wire and Teflon.
Once the oven was fired up, the par-baked dough was methodically unwrapped, the pizza was sauced and cheesed by dozens of fast-working hands, and the finished pizza was wrapped for a second time when it exited the moving oven on the other side.
After a grueling four hours of stops and starts, tears, patches, and even a few flames, the pizzaiolos crossed the finish line feeling elation, relief and, for some, pure exhaustion, setting a new world record with 6,333 feet—or about 1 1/3 mile—of pizza.
Hundreds of boxes of pizza were then distributed to area homeless shelters, and attendees to the event were invited to take boxes to go.
While this record has been set in several other countries, the U.S. has never held the title, until now. Fash Asvadi, director of Pizzaovens.com and Italforni USA Ovens, wanted to change that when he came up with the idea in 2015. The project officially started in 2016 when a team was formed with experts from the industry, such as Tony Gemignani, Giulio Adriani, John Arena, Fred Mortati, Massimo Balacchi, Tom Lehmann, Mario Vollera and Jimmy DeSisto.
Sponsors included Pizzaovens.com, Italforni USA, Ciao, Orlando Foods, Caputo Flour, the California Milk Advisory Board, Venice Bakery, At-Pack, Dynamix, SoCal Gas and others.
To see PMQ's footage from the event, visit PMQ Pizza Magazine on Facebook.