Canadian Pizza Magazine

Judges, pizza-eating contest announced: the latest news from the Canadian Pizza Summit

By Canadian Pizza Staff   


Details of the Canadian Pizza Summit and Chef of the Year Competitions and the day's exciting pizza-focused activities!

This year we at Canadian Pizza are proud to bring you Pizza Summit East in Toronto, at Faema Canada’s Culinary Academy on Monday, Oct. 30!

Join us in person to see 22 talented pizza chefs make the best, tastiest, most creative pizza, shine a light on their pizzerias and compete to win great prizes including a trip to compete at Vegas Pizza Expo in 2024!

One day in Toronto gets you: 

  • A month’s worth of trend research all in one place!
  • The chance to watch the competitors up close and see what toppings and crust techniques the chefs are using.
  • Pizza-focused exhibitors to listen and help you improve your product and find solutions to your challenges!
  • The perfect place to talk shop (or sports or family) with pizzerias just like yours!
  • An informative, engaging demo on gluten-free pizza.

New this year! Eat great pizza to win cool prizes


Talia di Napoli will host a lively lunchtime demonstration of its delicious pizza crusts that come straight from Naples and can be baked to perfection in any oven!

Faema Canada will host an exciting Pizza-Eating Contest as part of the Summit activities! Come enjoy delicious Neapolitan pizza made by master pizzaiolo Pasquale Ponticello, instructor of Faema’s Culinary Academy classes. Chef Ponticello comes from Naples and worked in the city’s top pizzerias for many years before coming to Toronto in 2013. Sign up at the front registration desk to compete with other pizza lovers to win handsome prizes including a pizza peel and olive oil gift set!

Register now to attend and/or compete at!


9:00 a.m.  – Registration

10:00 a.m.  – Trade show floor opens

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  – Chef of the Year Competition, Flight 1

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.  – Complementary lunch served

12:45 p.m.-1:00 p.m.  – Demo: Talia di Napoli pizza crusts

1:15 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  – Chef of the Year Competition, Flight 2

4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.  – Great Pizza Box Fold-Off

4:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m. – Faema Canada Pizza Eating Contest

4:30 p.m. – Winners announced!

Meet the judges

Rocco Agostino is Executive Chef and Partner for Pizzeria Libretto, Partner of Enoteca Sociale. Rocco was born and raised in Toronto, by two Italian parents who had immigrated to Canada. Starting as a dishwasher at Ciao Bella in Woodbridge, Rocco’s hunger for food took him first to the Stratford Chef’s School, and then to study abroad in Rome. His first experience leading a kitchen was at Ferro Bar Café and from there he went on to open the Silver Spoon. Rocco, alongside Max Rimaldi, opened Pizzeria Libretto in 2008, and as a partner in Libretto Restaurant Group, which includes Enoteca Sociale. His philosophy is one of simplicity, flavour and passion. Using a few seasonal ingredients to create a tasty dish that evokes memories of a passionate heart. Follow Rocco on Twitter, @ChefRoccoTO

Rita DeMontis is an award-winning journalist, editor and writer whose career has spanned decades. For more than 47 years, Rita rose through the ranks of the Toronto SUN Newspaper, covering everything from crime to entertainment to human interest stories and, where for the last 25 years she was the senior National Lifestyle and Food Editor. She once hosted her own weekend radio show called Dishing with DeMontis, on Sirius XM Canada Talks, and spent many years on Newstalk 1010. She has appeared regularly on CITY-TV’S Breakfast Television, Global TV, CTV Canada AM, CityLine and Food Network Canada, has been interviewed on CNN and the BBC and once hosted her own national cooking show called CUCINAetc. She has an extensive volunteer background, including helping teach at-risk youths how to cook through a special Stone Soup initiative presented by her local police department.  In 2018, DeMontis was awarded the Gold as top food writer in Canada from the Ontario Hostelry Institute. 

Tom Stankiewicz has owned and operated Bondi’s Pizza in London, Ont., for 23 years – since 1999. Tom was our 2009 Chef of the Year with his Pizza Calabria featuring Italian sausage, Canadian goat cheese, grilled portobello mushrooms and roasted red peppers. For several years, Tom was involved with the Canadian Pizza Team. In recent years, he tackled diverse topics related to pizza and pizzeria management in his Pizza on Fire column in Canadian Pizza. Follow Tom on Instagram @pizzajudgecanada

Giorgio Taverniti owns Frank’s Pizza House in Toronto, which has been in his family since 1990. Frank’s has received numerous awards including Best Panzerotti in Toronto by BlogTO and Best Pizza Delivery Toronto by BlogTO. A graduate of George Brown College’s culinary management and Italian culinary programs, Giorgio helped found a popular pizza-making workshop at the college. He is a fixture on the Toronto pizza scene and well loved for his drives to support the community. Follow Giorgio on Instagram @torontopizzeria.

We can’t wait to connect with chefs, owners, operators and your staff and to see what signature pizzas you will present at this one-of-a-kind Canadian industry event.

The Summit is free to pizzerias and will take place at Faema Culinary Academy, Faema Canada, 672 Dupont St., Toronto, Ont. M6G 1Z6. 

Thank you to our host and Platinum sponsor, Faema Canada, Gold sponsor Lactalis Canada Foodservice, Bronze sponsor Talia di Napoli and Lallemand Baking for supporting this key industry event that celebrates the art and science of professional pizza making in Canada. As a supplier and partner to pizzerias, join us to be part of Canada’s premier pizza competition and tabletop business event! 

Register now to attend and/or compete at!

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