All politics is local, or so the saying goes. The same goes for great pizza. Mix the two together, and you’ve got the Denton County Mayoral Pizza Cook-Off, a unique fundraiser taking place in Lewisville, Texas, later this month.

Mayors of communities in Denton County will vie for top honors in the event, which raises money for charities in the region, at Motor City Pizza on August 23. Now in its second year, the fundraiser could be a model for similar charity events in pizza-loving counties around the country.

“It really is a great time,” Motor City Pizza owner Gene Tierney told the Lewisville Leader. “The mayors all seem to get into it, and they get very competitive. It really is a fun-spirited competition.”

Related: This bipartisan bill could help pizzeria owners save money on credit card fees

Each mayor will be given pizza dough already piled with cheese. From there, it’s up to each individual to whip up a masterpiece with the toppings of their choice. Two days prior to the event, each mayor submits their pizza concept and ingredients to Motor City Pizza. On the day of the event, each competitor will take their place at a pizza-making station stocked with the toppings they want to use.

The Motor City Pizza staff actually bakes up the pies, and then a panel of judges sits down to score the entrants on appearance, execution, taste/flavor and overall product/package. Judges include 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; realtor and local foodie Jay Marks; and the reigning champ, Charlotte Wilcox, the former mayor of Highland Village.

The mayors will hail from nine Denton County cities: Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Denton, Corinth, The Colony, Lake Dallas, Hickory Creek and Shady Shores. Each mayor chooses a charity to compete for, and points are added to their final scores for the amount of money they raise.

The Mayoral Pizza Cook-Off has grown over time. On July 29, 2021, a trio of mayors competed on behalf of three charities and raised nearly $10,000. Wilcox won the contest that year with a pie topped with brisket, bacon, onions, jalapenos and a drizzle of BBQ sauce, according to the Cross Timbers Gazette.

Food & Ingredients