I recently returned from the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, where I took second place in the Best of the Best Competition. The competition represented a bittersweet moment for me, as this was the last year I was eligible to compete but also the year I was inducted as a member of the World Pizza Champion Team – an incredible honor I’m both humble and proud to receive!
But the International Pizza Expo is much bigger than me, and I’m thrilled to report exciting new developments from the expo that will positively impact all Detroit Style Pizza Makers.
When I was named World Champion Pizza Maker of the Year in 2012, I was the only competitor who brought an Authentic Detroit Style Pizza recipe. Just four years later, dozens of pizza pros brought their own versions of Detroit Style Pizza, a testament to its rapidly-growing popularity.
As Detroit Style Pizza continues to gain fame and accolades, more people want to try the style, and more people fall in love with it!
This year’s expo featured more than 80 educational seminars and product demos, innovative products like pizza vending machines, and world-class entertainment like free-style pizza dough-spinning acrobats and live music. I also learned that new Detroit Style Pizzerias are opening in renowned pizza cities like New York and Chicago, likewise demonstrating the growing popularity of Detroit Style Pizza.
If you’ve never been to the expo, start making your plans for 2017: it’s an incredible opportunity to learn about everything pizza, from making dough to marketing your business and more. The expo offers outstanding networking opportunities as well. You get to talk to others in the industry, test equipment and products, find mentors, create relationships, and learn how to increase profits.
In 2017, we’ll have a booth at the International Pizza Expo and we’ll be on-hand to share information about our Detroit Style Pizza Pans, our dough, and our own trials, tribulations, and successes in the pizza industry. We’ll also discuss our Authentic Detroit Style Pizza Maker Training Program, a complete educational system that teaches you not only how to make Authentic Detroit Style Pizza, but also how to start and operate a successful pizzeria business!
In the meantime, congratulations to all the expo winners!
2016 Traditional Division Finals:
- 1st: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
- 2nd: John Vigliotti, Peppino’s, Syracuse, NY
- 3rd: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza, Gassville, AR
2016 Non-Traditional Division Finals:
- 1st: Brian Hall, Tony Boombozz Pizzeria, Louisville, KY
- 2nd: Louie Bossi, Louie Bossi’s, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- 3rd: Andrew Scudera, Goodfella’s, Staten Island, NY
2016 Pan Division Winners:
- 1st: Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse, Pittsburgh, PA
- 2nd: Massimo Mannino, Marabella, Washington, NC
- 3rd: Tony Ganesh, Panino’s Pizzeria, Park Ridge, IL
2016 Pizza Napoletana Division Winners:
- 1st: Cuono Pannella, Pizzeria da Nino, Acerra, Italy
- 2nd: Gazmir Zeneli, Rossopomodoro, Brooklyn, NY
- 3rd (tie): Vito Iacopelli, Provo The Art of Pizza, West Hollywood, CA
Gennaro Russo, Dal Presidente, Napoli, Italy
2016 Gluten-Free Division Winners:
- 1st: Victoria Wolf, Denver, CO
- 2nd: Giuseppe Lucia, Zio Giglio, Lecce, Italy
- 3rd: Frank Baird, Franco’s Pizza, Chardon, OH
2016 Best of the Best Champion: Matt Molina, Capo’s, San Francisco, CA
2016 Pizza Maker of the Year Champion: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY