Tuesday 5 June 2007

The verdict is in and Sunday afternoon saw Lou Maio from Pizza e Cucina in Berwick become this year’s victor in the Gourmet Category of the Victoria State Final of The Dairy Farmers Best of the Best Pizza Challenge.

In this, the tenth anniversary year of the Dairy Farmers Best of the Best Pizza Challenge, the competition format has expanded to include two different categories. On the first day five competitors cooked off to find the best traditional pizza maker, and on the second a different group competed to find the best gourmet pizza maker in the state.

Lou, won out overall in the close fought challenge that saw 3 different individuals take each award for the “Best of” each sub-categories. They were:

• Best Specialty Pizza – Lou Maio, Pizza e Cucina – Berwick

• Best Smallgoods Pizza – Kris Bailey, The Pantry – Brighton

• Best Cheese Pizza – Mirko Stojanovic, Porta Casa – Albert Park

Lou will now compete in the National Finals to be held in Sydney in September at Fine Food Australia to see if he can become the overall Australian winner.

The other competitors who made it through the cook-offs to take part in the state final were:

• Phil Parisi, Da Pino’s – Box Hill

• Tony Napoli, Sams Boat Shed – Williamstown

The pizzas were all judged by a panel of three professional cooks on a range of elements including originality, creativity, menu balance, use of ingredients and total appeal.

In addition to Dairy Farmers, the following are major sponsors of the competition:

Natural Gas, K R Castlemaine, Watson’s Catering Equipment and Spyral Food Equipment.

Pizza News