Andi Nolan stays plenty busy as the mayor of Lake Dallas, Texas, population 7,708. But if she ever gets burned out on politics, she just might have a future in pizza-making.

Nolan emerged as the winner of the second annual Denton County Mayoral Pizza Cook-Off, held earlier this month at Motor City Pizza in Lewisville, Texas. In a hotly contested race, she defeated eight other mayors of cities across the county with a pie called the Pig & Fig. According to the Cross Timbers Gazette, Nolan faced off against Lewisville’s own mayor, T.J. Gilmore, in the championship round, but her sweet-and-savory recipe just couldn’t be beat.

Every contestant in the cook-off, which raised money for local charities, was provided dough and cheese by Greg Tierney, owner of Motor City Pizza. From there, they chose their own ingredients to build a pizza in the Detroit style but with big flavors worthy of the Lone Star State.

Related: This one pizza recipe won $15,000 for an Idaho restaurateur

For the Pig & Fig, Nolan added Motor City Pizza’s Alfredo sauce, then topped it with balsamic caramelized onions, center-cut bacon, sliced dried figs, seasoned croutons cut into small pieces and a drizzle of fig preserves with honey.

This photo shows the award-winning pizza topped with bacon, caramelized onions, sliced dried figs, croutons and a drizzle of fig preserve with honey.

Photo courtesy of Andi Nolan

“I enjoy cooking and try to creatively make things flavorful,” Nolan told PMQ. “I made a practice pizza before the contest, and it was just an average pizza. So, I went home and looked in my fridge. I keep balsamic caramelized onions prepared to add to eggs, sandwiches and other dishes. They are very savory and make everything extra flavorful. One of my husband’s favorite breakfasts is eggs with my onions, honey and fig preserves, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ As for the croutons, I could say it was to add interesting texture, but, really, seasoned croutons are just delicious. I believe they are the best things on a salad, so why not on a pizza?”

The promotion was a smash success, raising nearly $20,000 for worthy organizations in the area. Each contestant chose a charity to represent, and the event brought together the entire Denton County community, from politicos to nonprofit leaders and all of their supporters.

The regional news media also got involved, which meant fantastic publicity for Motor City Pizza. Judges included food writers Sarah Blaskovitch of the Dallas Morning News and Nick Reynolds of the Dallas Observer; CBS 11 reporter Caroline Vandergriff; Lone Star 92.5 radio personality Randy James; Denton County Judge Andy Eads; local realtor and foodie Jay Marks; and the 2022 cook-off champ, Charlotte Wilcox, the former mayor of Highland Village.

The judges scored the entries on appearance, execution, taste/flavor and overall product/package.

“We are so pleased with the turn-out and the participation of each mayor and their respective charities,” Tierney told the Cross Timbers Gazette. “To raise a good amount of money for many worthy causes while having so much fun and eating good pizza is truly a win-win.”

The Mayoral Cook-Off has grown since its inception last year, when it drew three mayors from around the county. Meanwhile, Nolan is looking forward to defending her title in 2024.

“I’m already thinking of how I can incorporate another one of my favorite ingredients into next year’s pizza contest,” she told PMQ. “So I imagine I’ll be eating a lot of ‘trial-and-error pizzas this year.”

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