Oxford, Miss. (March 29, 2011) – The U.S. Pizza Team Trials and American Pizza Championship, Spring 2011, hosted by PMQ Pizza Magazine at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo March 21-23, proved successful for pizza chefs and spinners from across the country. U.S. Pizza Team coach Dave Smith II and team coordinator Holly Henning were elated to add four new members to the U.S. Pizza Team.
On the first day of competition, winners of the Largest Dough Stretch included first-time competitor Bradley Johnson (first place) of Mellow Mushroom in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jeff Hoffman (second place) of Anthony’s Pizza and Pasta in Golden, Colorado, and David Sommers (third place) of Mad Mushroom in West Lafayette, Indiana. In Fastest Pizza Maker, an event in which competitors race to determine who can make five pizzas in the shortest time, Giorgio Giove of Brothers Pizza in Staten Island, New York, took home first place. Second place was awarded to David Sommers, while Bradley Johnson snagged third. Another first-time competitor, Ryle Jordan of Tower Pizza in Staples, Minnesota, received a spot on the team as the Fastest Box Folder. In Freestyle Acrobatics, one of the most exciting events of day one, Giorgio Giove earned first place and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the international championship in Salsomaggiore, Italy, with a technical, yet crowd-pleasing performance.
Judges for the first day included Mark Hayward, a world-renowned Yo-Yo champion; Seth Bent, creator of Pizzaware and U.S. Pizza Team member Jason Samosky.
Round two of the competition, The American Pizza Championship, Spring 2011, involved a full day of pizza making. Third place went to Giorgio Giove. Drew Sassi of Pizzeria DaVinci in Killingworth, Connecticut, earned second. Tom Carfrae of Tomaso’s Pizza in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, emerged as the first place winner for his Detroit deep dish pizza. Tom also won an all-expense paid trip to Italy where he will represent the U.S. Pizza Team.
The judging panel for the APC included Jason Feirman, founder of IDreamofPizza.com; John Esser, chef consultant for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Sarah Minasian from the Center for Dairy Research and Mike Zaffiro, owner of historic Zaffiro’s Pizzeria & Bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Other competitors included Jason Samosky and Ashley Szakacs (Samosky’s Pizza, Valley City, Ohio), Alan Frank and Lisa Lynch-Frank (Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza, Louisville, Ohio), George and Patti Taylor (Freschott Pizza, Johnson City, New York), Mark Gold, Louis Siecinski, Jian Zheng and Uzoma Ozurumba (all from Pizza Shuttle, Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
These competitions were made possible with the help of U.S. Pizza Team sponsors: Pizzaware, Gordon Food Service, California Milk Advisory Board, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, Pizza.com, La Nova, Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Products, Pizza Packet, Cheney Brothers, Liguria, Burn Cream MD, Fontanini Italian Meats and Sausages, Univex, Vin DiVino, Bag Solutions, Marsal & Sons, DeIorio’s and Ruxter. Additional show sponsors included PizzaOvens.com, Woodstone, Saputo, Onion Crunch, Odyssey Cheese and Mario Camacho Foods.
For more information about the U.S. Pizza Team, visit USPizzaTeam.com, AmericanPizzaChampionship.com or contact Holly Henning at firstname.lastname@example.org.