shawnbestofbestThe Detroit Style Pizza Co. crew recently returned from yet another successful trip to the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, where more than 200 competitors from around the world pit their recipes against one another and I was crowned World Champion Pizza Maker in 2012. We didn’t bring home the gold this year, but we were close with two second-place finishes.

What’s even more exciting is the amazing buzz surrounding Detroit Style Pizza at the event – just five years ago there was no mention of our style of pizza at the expo, but this year the Lloyd’s Pans booth was packed with visitors who wanted to learn more about Detroit Style Pizza pans. Even better, a lot of pizza makers brought their own versions of Detroit Style Pizza to the competition; further evidence that the Motor City Secret is taking over the pizza world!

Check out our highlight video:

For our part, I placed second in the Best of the Best “blind box” competition. The competition pits World Champion Pizza Makers against each other in a timed format that introduces secret ingredients we have to include in our pizzas. This year, we had to use:

  • Corn
  • Truffle oil
  • Three different kinds of mushrooms
  • Pancetta

It’s a fun contest that forces us to think outside the box and quickly put together a pizza that will wow the judges using the secret ingredients, which are introduced when the timer begins, plus ingredients common to any pizza maker’s kitchen. I combined the secret ingredients with:

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Red onions
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Sea salt
  • White cheddar cheese

On the clock, I started by slicing up some pancetta and then sautéed it with mushrooms and corn in a pan of truffle oil (which is truly amazing). While it sautéed, I placed fresh oregano on our world champion pizza dough, added some mushrooms (under the cheese to retain their moisture), then sprinkled on a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. I baked the pizza halfway, then added the pancetta/truffle oil mix before finishing the bake. When it came out of the oven, I finished it off with thinly-sliced tomatoes, fresh basil before drizzling more truffle oil on top. Finally, I topped the pizza with roasted garlic.

I thought the new and unique pizza was amazing; in fact, it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever made.  The judges agreed by awarding it second place in the Best of the Best competition.

mikeOur own Michael Eatmon also took second place in the gluten-free division with Detroit Style Pizza Co.’s Tangy BBQ Chicken Pizza, the gluten-free version of the same pizza that was named World’s Best Pizza in 2012. We had a third pizza place in the top ten as well; Rob Vetere baked our Pulled Pork and Ratini Pizza and took tenth place in the pan division. That’s three Detroit Style Pizzas, all in the top 10!

Fun fact: all of our award-winning pizzas were baked using our new Detroit Style Pizza Pans, which were crafted by LloydPans to be super chef-friendly with stick-resistant PSTK coating. In fact, there was almost as much buzz about our new pans as there was about Detroit Style Pizza itself! (get your own Detroit Style Pizza Pans)

We’re thrilled our pizzas and pizza makers did so well at the Pizza Expo, and even more excited that Detroit Style Pizza continues to grow in popularity around the nation and the world. Virtually unknown outside of Detroit just five years ago, Detroit Style Pizza is now the hot topic at the nation’s biggest pizza event. The Motor City Secret is out!