U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) members will compete in the “Pizza por Pasión” Spanish Pizza Championship in Granada, Spain, on Monday, October 8.

Team members representing the U.S. include Gino Rago and Bruno Brunetti of Panino’s Pizza in Chicago; Dave Sommers of Mad Mushroom in West Lafayette, Ind.; and Sean Dempsey of Dempsey’s Brewery, Restaurant & Pub in Watertown, S.D.

Rago scored 2nd place in the Spanish event’s Classica category last year with his Pizza Sativa, made with a blend of wheat and hemp flour.

The yearly event is organized by Antonia Ricciardi, president of the University of Italian Pizza in the World, and takes place at the Sabores de Nuestra Tierra (translation: Flavors of Our Country) trade show.

Caroline Felker poses with Missy Green.

Competitors will participate in the culinary and pizza skills categories. Culinary categories include Classica, Peel and Pan. Skills categories include Fastest Pizza Maker, Largest Dough Stretch and Freestyle Acrobatics. The competition is an official selection round for the World Pizza Championship in Parma.

The USPT competes all year-round in various culinary and acrobatic trials across the country. Winners of each trial in the U.S. earn a trip to compete on the international stage in competitions around the world.

PMQ Pizza Magazine, the business trade publication for the pizza restaurant industry, created the U.S. Pizza Team in 2000. The USPT is sponsored by Galbani, Grain Craft, Real California Milk, Gordon Food Service, LaNova, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, MFG Tray, Burkett Restaurant Equipment and Supplies, Bag Solutions, Lillsun, Univex, Presto Foods and Sofo Foods.

For more information about the U.S. Pizza Team, contact Brian Hernandez at 662-234-5481 ext. 129 or brian@pmq.com or visit http://uspizzateam.com.

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