By Laura Aiken
Canadian Pizza mag made its annual jaunt to Las Vegas for the International Pizza Expo
Canadian Pizza mag made its annual jaunt to Las Vegas for the International Pizza Expo, proudly waving the flag for the many fellow Canadians on the show floor and in the culinary competitions.
|Marina Rondinelli’s third-place pie.|
Cory Medd of Two Guys and a Pizza Place in Lethbridge, Alta., represented our country as Canadian Pizza magazine’s Chef of the Year sponsored by Saputo Food Service and Faema distributed by Moretti Forni. Medd clinched fifth in the Non-Traditional finals of the International Pizza Challenge with his Italian Club pizza featuring basil pesto, capicolin, pancetta, mozzarella/provolone blend, red onions and cheddar finished with fresh arugula, tomatoes, Parmesean flakes and a swirl of balsamic glaze.
Marina Rondinelli of Rondo’s/Pizza Plus in Bright’s Grove, Ont., was prepping her pies for the second year in a row as runner-up in Canadian Pizza’s Chef of the Year contest. Rondinelli scored third in the Traditional Finals. Her pie was topped with sweet sausage in a Baco Noir from Pelee Island Winery, roasted red peppers in garlic, hot banana peppers on a base of mozzarella and provolone topped with fresh goat’s cheese.
Tom Stankiewicz and Mark Briand of Bondi’s Pizza in London, Ont., earned the highest marks on the board during the Traditional preliminaries with their pizza featuring merlot soaked red onions, homemade Cajun sausage and Monterey Jack/mozzarella blend, winning the mid-American division.
|Competing Canadians Mark Briand, Pasqualino Oliveri and |
Canadian Pizza also bumped into Alex Brunet of Montreal-based Stromboli, who scored high enough to make it into the Non-Traditional finals where his team won second place with a lobster pizza, featuring sauce with cream and garlic confit, shitake, fresh mozzarella, flat parsley, tarragon and garlic confit.
Pasqualino Oliveri, our 2011 Chef of the Year and runner-up in the finals last year, was back competing with a tasty pie topped with Porcini mushrooms and Canadian sausage. A Vancouver pizzeria earned third place in the new Pan-American division.
Congratulations to all competitors at this year’s pizza challenge and any Canadians we may have missed. California’s Pizza My Heart won the Traditional title, marking the first time an American pizzeria has won the this honour, which has often gone to an Italian team.
Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza of New York took the World’ Best Pizza title in a showdown after taking the Non-Traditional title.
There were a few cool new products to note on this year’s show floor. There was lots of buzz around the Perfect Crust Pizza Liner booth.
|Team Stromboli. |
This pizza box elevates the pizza using bumps to help circulate the stored heat all in the name of preventing a soggy pizza. The liner is designed to absorb grease so customers get the crispiest crust possible. Product makers say the their liner will also eliminate the card board taste and prevent the pizza from sticking to the box.
Canadian Pizza also stumbled upon the Giotto, a very neat rotating deck oven by Cuppone. Booth reps say this is the only electric oven with a rotating deck in North America.
On the other side of the show we found the Smart Dough System by Thinking Foods. This high-tech intelligent mixing system allows operators to electronically program the mixing of dough, eliminating the need to measure water or ingredients. The system is meant to improve consistency and operators can password protect their mixing formula.
Conocopia is offering owners the machine and kit to create the cone-shaped pizzas with a soft or crunchy texture in under two minutes. It was another great year in Vegas and we look forward to 2013