The World Pizza Championships, Italy

Long ago, conquering Roman generals would arrive home in a golden chariot after battling the Visagoths or Lilliputians or Sythians. This triumphant parade included all the booty aquired from these vanquished enemies including gold, silver, slaves and pizza. Also riding on this chariot with the victorious general were two slaves, one to steer and one, to hold a golden crown and whisper in the general’s ear: “All glory is fleeting.” “All glory is fleeting.”

As I got on the flight from Milan to New York after the World Pizza Championships, I had a vision of that same slave whispering in my ear.  “Bruno’s pizza was better, you lost, he won.” “Bruno beat you, your pizza sucked, you lost…”

The Goon’s “Pizza Metro al Gilda,” with marinated fresh anchovy, Parmesano Reggiano, fresh buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato, Amalfi Coast asparagus and crushed roasted almonds. A Fabulolus pizza but not a winner.

Yes, my supposed friend, Bruno di Fabio, won “Best pizza in the U.S.A.” for the second time in 2 years. This title is bestowed upon the highest score entered for the Pizza Classico segment of the contest. I must admit that my pizza Classico was terrible compared to his. (I made a fatal error the morning before the contest by re-balling my dough, thinking I had enough time for the dough to bounce back to workable form. I was wrong.)  Bruno cooked his pizza early on and had momentum on his side. His dough was popping at the perfect time, which made pizza spectacular.

Bruno finishing his Pizza Teglio or pan pizza, with spicy salami, Cherignola olives, crushed tomato, Grande cheese and fresh Burrata cheese, then basking in the glow of European television.

Tony Gemignani’s pizza classico was also really rockin’ as well, as were all the other Americans on our team.

Now, I could never be described as a sore loser, (My massive amount of experience at losing has elevated my loser’s persona to doctoral heights.) I gotta tell you that it just hurts. You travel with a guy for a whole week, give him help, advice, prop up his ego constantly, answer his stupid questions about food and life, and what do you get?  Beaten by him. Never again Bruno, I’m never gonna do dough late into the night with you like some zombie-baker. Never again am I going to be your fall guy and sneak into snobby Italian hotel kitchens to saute your stinkin’ garlic at 4 a.m. or take those freakin’ seeds out of your San Marzano tomatoes. I’m never gonna cut your fresh mozzarella into cubes again, or grate your Parmesan into little paper-thin curlies the way you like it . It’s over Holmes. Next time YOU are gonna be the slave whispering in my ear.

O.K., enough about me and that backstabbing friend of mine. This morning, I cut my finger really bad, slicing through napa cabbage with my 1920’s era high-carbon steel Dexter. I am lucky to even have that digit. So, I can’t type well and do not have the time mess around with more stories.

Here are some pictures from the championship. They really do speak louder than words. I will have some great video of acrobatics as soon as I can figure out how to edit from my new video camera.

Pizza on Earth! (I stole that from Pizza Therapy)

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