Luca Colasanti named first Canadian Pizza Summit West Chef of the Year
By Canadian PizzaFeatures News Business and Operations Trends Canadian pizza chef of the year editor pick
Burnaby, B.C. – Luca Colasanti of Mordimi Bite of Italy in Vancouver is the first Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year West.
British Columbia is home to some of the most creative pizza chefs in Canada as Canadian Pizza learned when it took its well-established Chef of the Year competition west for the first time to Burnaby, B.C.
Colasanti’s winning pizza, Fighissima, won over judges at the first Canadian Pizza Summit West, held June 6 at Snow Cap Enterprises in Burnaby. Fighissima’s crust featured a mixture of three organic flours from Italy, including double-zero and spelt flour. The dough is made using a biga that is fermented for 48 hours. Colasanti said that the combination of different flours helps make the crust light with a fantastic crunchy effect.
It featured a red sauce base, fior di latte cheese topped with colourful purple fresh figs, coppa piacentina DOP (Protected Designation of Origin), shaved piave DOP and fresh arugula.
Colasanti’s idea was to bring a taste of summer as the season begins.
All photos by David Judd for Canadian Pizza.
Steven Che co-owner and head chef with Wild Flour Pizza Co. in Burnaby earned second place for his butter paneer pizza featuring a Makhani gravy base consisting of the pizzeria’s house-blended garam masala, ripe California plum tomatoes, butter and cream. It was topped with caramelized onions, paneer (an acid-set cheese made from cow or buffalo milk) and mozzarella cheese.
Andy Finlayson, owner of 70 Pizzeria/Rebellious Tomato, which features a dual menu of traditional and more creative pizzas in North Vancouver, took third place for his Detroit-style pizza.
Colasanti wins a trip to Las Vegas Pizza Expo in 2023 to compete in the International Pizza Challenge, a set of Modernist Pizza books and a cover story in Canadian Pizza magazine. Che wins a cash prize of $300 and Finlayson wins a cash prize of $200 for their efforts. All will be recognized in Canadian Pizza magazine.
A small group of creative and competitive pizza makers brought their creative pizzas from Vancouver and area:
• Hiten Gupta, owner of Pizza Mantra, Langley
• Aaron Gehrman, director or Emilio Finatti Pizzeria with three locations in White Rock, Langley and Port Coquitlam
• Erik Johnson, manager of Emilio Finatti Pizzeria Langley
• Natanael Gammarota, owner of Natalino’s Pizza in Surrey
More than 40 pizza professionals attended the day-long event, which included several pizza-focused suppliers. Snow Cap Enterprises had on display several of the ingredients and food products it distributes to operators. Ardent Mills brought its flours and blends to the show, including new gluten-free and keto-friendly blends. EM Bakery Equipment brought its Esmach Bakestone electric oven, ideal for Neapolitan pizza making, along with its industrial mixer and other equipment. Lactalis talked up its Galbani line of dairy products, including lactose-free pizza mozzarella. Anita’s Organic Mill was on hand to discuss and sample its organic flour blends, including its pizza and pasta flour. Lesaffre brought its years of yeast expertise to the event. Seaside Paper Products walked attendees through its sustainable packaging options, including a holder designed for by-the-slice pizza. Serving as judges were Francesca Cavallo of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West; Martin Barnett, executive director of the Baking Association of Canada; and Francisco Migoya, and Modernist Cuisine head chef and award-winning co-author of Modernist Bread and Modernist Pizza.
Chef Migoya delivered a compelling presentation on pizza, past, present and future. His presentation included tips and techniques for pizzaioli he and co-author Nathan Myhrvold developed while researching Modernist Pizza, a comprehensive three-book set exploring all things pizza and featuring more than 1,000 recipes.
Canadian Pizza wishes to thank host and platinum sponsor Snow Cap Enterprises for opening up its innovation centre for the event, gold sponsor Ardent Mills, bronze sponsor EM Bakery Equipment, who also provided an Esmach Bakestone oven for the competition, and delegate bag sponsor KIS Paper.
Canadian Pizza Summit East and Chef of the Year Competitions will take place Oct. 24 at Faema Canada’s showroom in Toronto, Ont. Registration opens June 30 at canadianpizzamag.com.
Watch for coverage of Pizza Summit West along with a profile of Chef of the Year West Luca Colasanti in upcoming issues of Canadian Pizza and at canadianpizzamag.com.
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