Chattanooga pizza tosser swings for world championship title

Bradley Johnson makes pizza dough dance.

He took the floor in Italy at the Pizza World Championships in a black tie and sunglasses and flipped, spun, tossed and stretched pizza dough in a freestyle acrobatics routine set to the tune of The Blues Brothers' "Soul Man."

Ten judges sat in front of him. A camera zoomed in on his moves and projected them on a large screen for the crowd of about 300 spectators. He had to stay in a 20-foot by 20-foot performance arena.

"I was nervous," he said. "It was one of the most nervous times I've ever done it. But it was a lot of fun."

The 23-year-old Chattanoogan competed against 400 of the world's best pizza tossers and chefs during the five-day competition in April. The judges looked at technique, speed, choreography and crowd participation.

His Blues Brothers routine earned 399 of a possible 500 points — good enough for eighth place. But not quite good enough for the competitive UTC accounting major.

Read more