Posts Tagged ‘non gluten pizza’

The Pizza Olympics in Italy, 2011

                         

My “Schiacciata alla Lombardo,” highlighting the cheeses and food of the Lombary region placed 4th in the U.S.A. I slathered wonderful Bellweather Farms Crescenza on the whole thing, then topped in thirds (1) Gorgonzola Dolce, Gorgonzola Piccante, sliced pear, Bresaola (air dried beef) and arugula. (2) Teleggio, wild mushrooms and truffle oil. (3) Vallentina Casera cheese with pancetta fresca (fresh pork side, marinated with salt, herbs and balsamic) and braised raddichio. My dough consisted of a wild yeast 24 hour levain with 50 percent local spelt flour and a 16 hour cold-retarded biga, then mixed with a 50/50 mix of 14 percent protein flour and caputo tipo “00″ flour to a 70 percent hydration.

World Pizza Champions

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of being invited to the pizza olympics, held in Salsomaggiore Italy. My team, The World Pizza Champions ruled the day with fantastic culinary scores as well as the silver and bronze medals in pizza acrobatics.

                            

This fabulous pizza made by Tony Gemignani won “Best Pizza in the U.S.A.”  The”cornicione” (Korn-e-Chon-A) or end crust has a terrific open crumb and airy cells obtained by pre-ferments, the perfect amount of hydration, patience and a little pizza love. Tony named this “Pizza Fortura.”  It consisted of  100% organic 12-grain  flour from Central Milling with a 93 percent hydration, Anchor Steam starter, triple malted, La Quercia prosciutto, blackberry honey, Sierra Nevada mozzarella and white cheddar with arugula. 

The fabulous Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony’s Napolitana, Tony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Slice House, Pizza Rock in Sacramento and Pysano’s Pizza in Castro Valley  won “Best Pizza in the U.S.A.” for his score in the Pizza Classico category (damn- I came in second.) Tony also rocked the “Pizza Teglia” category, coming in 4th in the World followed by Bruno di Fabio who finished 8th in the World. Bruno has just opened “Re Napoli” to rave reviews in Greenwich CT.  and is opening a spectacular pizzeria called “900″ in the East Village, Manhattan. (These guys are on FIRE!)

Here are the sights of the competition.

                       

Eric Corbin, Pat Miller and Jay Shuurman exploded with great tricks in the Freestyle Acrobatics and Largest Dough Stretch.

                         

    Some great pizzas were made in the Teglia, or pan pizza category where alot of Italians let them rest for over 10 minutes. 

                          

Tony and Bruno saying, “If we gave you 1000 Euro, would you make sure the judges give that goon from Ohio a lower score?”

                         

                     Lotsa French Chefs showed up this year. Here a chef creates a red Mullet pizza with spring vegetables.

                    

Pat Miller, Owner of A Slice of New York in Columbus Ohio was spectacular in all events but really shined in largest dough stretch.

                          

Contestants from all over the world competed in “The Fastest,” or pulling 5 small doughs out onto 12 inch screens in record time.

                           

                               The Japanese team scored third place in the team acrobatics. Here they are with Miss Italy.

                             

Three pizza legends; Tony Gemignani, Antonio Manzi (He won first place, freestyle acrobatics) and Bruno di Fabio.

                         

                                                                               Did I mention the French were there?

                                     

                                                                                  Eric Corbin helping a nice old geezer cross the street.

                        

                                                                                          Presentation to the judges is everything.

                                

                                            The non-gluten category was held in a seperate area and featured some great pizzas also.

                         

                                                                                                     The World Pizza Champions.

                           

              Nancy Puglisi, (center) herself a master at the pizza business, acted as our interpreter, coach and friend.

                                            

This pizza place forth in the world in “Pizza in Teglia” or pan pizza and was made by (who else) Tony Gemignani. It is called the “Pancetta Porcini” using a 72 hour maturation with a poolish, porcini marsala cream sauce, wild mushrooms, smoked pancetta, smoked scarmoza, truffle oil, sea salt, roasted red peppers, fresh thyme, and mache.

 

                              

Jay Shuurman, Eric Corbin and Alberto Pavolo shared the stage in victory for thier freestyle actobatic dough tossing.

                          

                                                                 Here is Tony Gemignani picking up his trophy for Best Pizza in the U.S.A.     

                           

This was an exciting and exhausting trip, these guys are some of the best and most dedicated pizza people on the planet and it was an honor to accompany them. Next year, even though they are my friends, I will crush them with a stellar pizza and win Best Pizza in the World because, like Bruno says “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometime.”

Semper Pie!

the goon

( I’ve had some problems attaching videos to posts but hope that soon I can show them to you.)

Whatta Blast! A look at the International Pizza Expo

Theo Kalogerakos, from Austrailia. Pizza Maker of the Year 2010 (and an awesome bloke, indeed!)

I’ve been attending the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas since 2004 and have so many photos and pictures that I’ve decided to share them. Every year, I am constantly amazed at how great this show is. It is put together by the folks at Pizza Today magazine.

In 2004, my California Pizza rocked (left) but Doug Ferriman, Owner of Crazy Dough’s in Boston won with his monstrous pie (right) of oven dried tomato, basil, Gorgonzola, mozzarella and pine nuts. Doug also won Pizza Maker of the Year in 2007.

The people I meet every year are the best in the industry. Some have multiple stores, some have a single store, some have been in the biz for 30 years, some are just starting. The new products, new ideas and new equipment are everywhere. But I love the competition of the International Pizza Challenge the best.

Andrew Scudera and Scot Cosentino (above) from Goodfella’s Pizza in Staten Island have won in Vegas more times than I can count on my hands and feet.

Pasqualino and Carmelo Oliveri from Canada…(The French part.)

The speakers like Big Dave Ostrander, Sean Brauser, Chef Glen Cybulski and Kamaron Karrington always have great ideas. They keep up with trends and are able to offer you all the information you need for success, and that one nugget of information that can transform your business (or attitude) into the fast lane of making better pizza and more money.

Kristian and Leslie Kaiser look nice and smiley enough, but will obliterate you in competition with their fabulous Avers Pies.

Masters of Pizza, Tony Gemignani (top) and Bruno di Fabio, are both winners of “Best Pizza in the U.S.A.” at the World Pizza Championships. They’re always a great sight to see at the Pizza Expo. (Tony was just featured in Saveur magazine’s Top 100 culinary experts of the year.)

The culinary demonstrations from the likes of World Champion and Culinary Expert Tony Gemignani, Chef and Restuarant Critic Pat Bruno and Chef Jeff Frehof are fabulous because they let you ask questions as they cook. And the best part is that you can eat their great food after they are done. Yum.

Dave and Linda Winchester, owners of Black Rock Pizza always seem to win in Vegas (top). Jeremy from Romeo’s Pizza constantly looks down on me and my also-ran guanciale and fig jam schiacciata.

I cannot forget the World Pizza Games that take place also. These will also knock your sock off. One of the best of the best is world champion Justin Wadstein. Here is Justin showing why he has won Best Pizza Acrobat in the World:

Akaogi Kazuya, always a great competitor at the World Pizza Championships in Italy, does his stuff to Mickey Mouse theme song:

To compete against the best pizza makers in the world is both exhilarating and humbling.  Just when you think you’ve got the best pizza in the world, a guy from Staten Island pulls out lobster and blueberries with a braided crust. Or you look up to see an amazing pizza that could, should and would kill your chances at fame and fortune.

Leo Spizzerri from Chicago is the master of the deep dish (top). The judges get particularly serious in Vegas. The head judge is Domenico Crolla from Scotland (other end of table) and he directs other judges consisting of chefs from all over the world.


Rick and Jane Mines of Nima’s Pizza killed all comers with their fabulous baking skills in 2010 and came in as finalists.


The Italians are tough to beat! Eddy Rossignoli of Venezia, Italy (top) won 2nd place in 2010 and Grazziano Bertuzzo of Pizzeria Brian in Lecce, Italy won Pizzaiola of the Year in 2009.

Bruno di Fabio, myself, and Willy O, who scored big with a non-gluten pie.

All in all, there’s nothing like all the pizza friends I get to see in Vegas.. Well, $15 grand is a great substitute though. Below is Graziano making his top pizza in 2009.


See you there in March!