Last week, I had the pleasure of serving as a judge at the America Pizza Championship at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo. The competition was put on by the folks at PMQ Pizza Magazine and featured three days of pizza festivites — from freestyle acrobatic dough tossing to a pizza box folding contest!
I was at the Expo for the culinary component. As part of the event, competitors were asked to create two 14-inch pizzas on-site using their own dough and ingredients. One pizza was used for judging and other was presented to the audience for sampling. I had the exciting task of judging the pizza on taste, appearance and commercial viability. The winning prize? An all-expense paid trip to the International Competition in Rome, Italy!
My fellow judges were Mike Zaffiro (from Zaffiro’s Pizzeria in Wisconsin), Sarah Minasian (who works for the Center for Dairy Research) and John Esser (a chef consultant for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board). After tallying up our votes, first place went to Tom Carfrae of Tomaso’s Pizza in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!
Check out a photo recap of the festivities below.