According to a news report from stargazette.com, “Koji Mashiko laughed nervously when it came time to toss the pizza dough in the air. But, coached by Dominic Sidari of Vincenzo’s Pizza in Elmira, Mashiko tossed the gooey disc upward and made a perfect catch, drawing cheers and applause from the gathered crowd today.”
“Mashiko was among 12 students and three adults from the Japanese city of Nakagawa who are in the Southern Tier this week to visit Horseheads, their sister city,” said the story. “The Nakagawa entourage, which arrived Friday, has a full slate of activities planned for the week, but the annual pizza party at Vincenzo’s is always a highlight, said Julie Spicer, president of the Horseheads Sister Cities Association.”
“We do the pizza party every year for 16 years. Vincenzo is a real celebrity in Nakagawa,” Spicer said. “So many people there know Vinnie. He’s like an integral part of the whole exchange. It’s a tradition to have pizza made at Vincenzo’s.” Pizzeria owner Vincenzo “Vinnie” Sidari normally gives the kids instruction in pizza making, but is recovering from surgery and turned those duties over to his brother Dominic this year,” according to the article.