Pizza News

CiCi's Pizza Holds First-Ever Pizza Throwdown Finals

COPPELL, Texas, Dec. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — CiCi’s Pizza’s fastest and most accurate pizza makers will compete for the title of “Ultimate Pizza Artist” in CiCi’s first-ever Pizza Throwdown finals. In addition to a year’s worth of bragging rights, CiCi’s team members from across the nation will compete for cash, the coveted crystal pizza cutter, a flat screen TV and gaming consoles.

The contest began in November with more than 300 contestants and eight regional competitions to determine four finalists who will compete in the Throwdown finals in Frisco, Texas on January 11. To be named the Ultimate Pizza Artist, CiCi’s competitors will exhibit mastery in multiple areas: quality pizza assembly (like dough stretching, seasoning coverage and even cutting), speed, accuracy and ability to keep CiCi’s famous pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffet stocked with hot and fresh pizza while providing a welcoming atmosphere for guests.

Each finalist will be responsible for preparation of 21 different CiCi’s buffet favorites. Once judged, the freshly prepared items will be donated to the local Salvation Army.

“We know that we have some of the most attentive and talented pizza professionals in the business,” CiCi’s Pizza CEO Mike Shumsky said. “CiCi’s Ultimate Pizza Throwdown gives us an opportunity to recognize their incredible work in a fun environment that highlights their skills.”

Prizes include:


– Grand prize: $2,500 and a 47″ Samsung LED TV


– 2nd place: $1,500 and a Play Station 3 with Motion


– 3rd place: $1,000 and an Xbox 360


– 4th place: $500 and an iPod Touch with speakers


WHO: Finalists:


Martin Cabellero from Lynchburg, Va., a 12-year CiCi’s Pizza veteran.


Elizabeth Cruz from Roeland Park, Kan., whose parents and siblings also work for CiCi’s.


Martin Gallegos from Terrell, Texas, who was recruited to join the CiCi’s team by his brother who already worked for the company.


Alvaro Patino from Shreveport, La., who with his brother, joined CiCi’s at the urging of his cousin who was a CiCi’s manager.


Spokespeople: Mike Shumsky (CiCi’s Pizza CEO), Kyle Smith (CiCi’s Pizza VP of Brand Excellence) and Steve Haskins (CiCi’s Pizza franchisee)


WHAT: Out of 300 pizza pros, four CiCi’s Pizza Ultimate Pizza Throwdown finalists emerged. Finalists will compete for grand prizes and cash and a year’s worth of bragging rights once named the “Ultimate Pizza Artist.”


VISUALS: Ultimate Pizza Artists will stretch pizzas and spread toppings and cheese at top speed to assemble the fastest, best-looking and most delicious pizza. Many will clock in under 30 seconds. Judges will compile scores, determine official winner and award prizes.


WHEN: 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011


WHERE: CiCi’s Pizza, 5580 Preston Road, Frisco; (214) 436-4529


Erin White or Rebecca Wilkins


SPM Communications


(214) 379-7000