Pizza News

Patrick Maggi Claims Victory in First-Ever Gluten-Free Pizza Contest

""Orlando, Fla.—In the first-ever gluten free pizza competition, nine of America’s top pizza makers showed up to battle for the first place gluten free pizza peel trophy, bragging rights and a coveted spot on the U.S. Pizza Team. But, it was Patrick Maggi of Pasquale’s Deli ( in Damascus, Maryland, who was named America’s best gluten free pizza maker. The event was hosted by PMQ Pizza Magazine ( during the seventh annual Orlando Pizza Show ( on September 12.

Maggi, who placed second in the 2009 American Pizza Championship, barely missing a spot on the team, baked a pizza topped with five different types of mushrooms blended in a white wine sauce, goat cheese, spinach, mozzarella and red onion. Pizza Team veteran Michael Amheiser, of Pizza Dock in Fredericktown, Ohio, took the second spot with a meatball-covered deep dish pie and Jason Samosky of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria ( in Valley City, Ohio, took third place with a Thai Green Curry Pizza topped with peanut butter tamari, Thai green curry paste and pineapple.

Judges for the event included Frank Baldassare of “The Missing Ingredient,” a web-series dedicated to gluten free cooking, Julie Kincart of the Celiac Disease Foundation’s Lakeland, Florida support group, Carolyn Vanderzyden of the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness
and Chef Michael Bersell, a culinary director who oversees more than 200 restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And Kelly Dial, a talented Sous Chef who has a gluten free palate.