Today on This Week In Pizza: World Pizza Championships Start Next Week; Papa Murphy's Tops Customer Survey; and Pro Wrestler's Pizzeria Gets Glowing Review
World's Best Pizza Makers Compete in Parma
Some of the best pizza chefs and "pizzathletes" on the planet-including members of the U.S. Pizza Team-will compete next week in the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy. And for those of you who can't make that trip across the Atlantic, you can still watch all of the action in real time via live streaming at PMQ.com/live.
The international event, which runs Monday-Wednesday, April 15-17, features culinary and acrobatic competitions. Pizza-making categories include Pan, Classic and Gluten-Free, while acrobatics categories include freestyle acrobatics, fastest pizza maker and largest dough stretch. The PMQ staff will be there, too, live-streaming the entire event at PMQ.com/live or PizzaTV.com. You can also view the event at USPizzaTeam.com.
If you've turned up your nose at take-and-bake concepts in the past, take heed: According to a two-year study by research firm Technomic, consumers rated Papa Murphy's Take 'N Bake as the number-one restaurant chain in the country.
Papa Murphy's came out ahead in three out of the four categories that were covered in Technomic's Consumer Restaurant Brand Metrics report. Consumers gave the chain the highest ratings in service and hospitality, convenience and takeout, and value. Rounding out the top five were Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Chick fil A, McAlister's Deli and Firehouse Subs.
Tom Boyles, Account Executive, 662 234-5481 ext 122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Food Critic Praises Pro Wrestler's Chicago Pizzeria
Professional wrestler Lisa Marie Varon-a.k.a. Tara on TNA's Impact Wrestling-may be one of the "bad guys" in the ring, but her new pizzeria, The Squared Circle, is making friends in high places, including Chicago Tribune food writer Kevin Pang.
Varon and her husband, restaurateur Lee Varon, opened their pizza restaurant in the Windy City last month. The fare impressed Pang, a James Beard Award winner, who, in an article published April 4, praised the restaurant's combination of pizza and burgers as "a killer tag team." Pang wrote that the food was "quite good, miles beyond my expectations for a pro wrestling-themed restaurant," and singled out the Kentucky Bourbon, a barbecue pie, and the Hangover Helper, which features pepperoni, diced bacon, tomato sauce and two fried eggs with runny yolks.
A widespread outbreak of E. coli poisoning has been linked to frozen pizzas, chicken quesadillas and other snack foods, prompting Rich Products Corp. of Buffalo, New York to recall 10 million pounds of food.
According to NBC.com, the foods may be contaminated with the extremely rare but potentially dangerous bacterium E. coli O121, which has already sickened 24 people in 15 states. Seven people were hospitalized in the outbreak. Rich Products has recalled all products manufactured at its Waycross, Georgia, plant, including frozen pizzas, mozzarella bites and Philly cheese steaks under the brand names of Farm Rich and Market Day. (Photo by Farm Rich)