Agostino takes Chef of the Year title

Canadian Pizza
December 13, 2012
By Canadian Pizza
Dec. 13, 2012, Simcoe, Ont. – Chef Rocco Agostino's love of porchetta has won him the title of Canadian Pizza magazine's 2012 Chef of the Year and a trip to the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

Agostino, of Pizzeria Libretto in Toronto, was one of three finalists in this year's bake-off, hosted by Moretti Forni (distributed by Euro-Milan) at their Matheson Boulevard location in Mississauga, Ont. His pizza, topped with savoury Italian porchetta, fior di latte, a truffle cream sauce, rapini, preserved chilli peppers and pork crackling narrowly edged by the other two finalists, Rick Nixon of Itza Reistorante & Pizzeria in Nelson, B.C., and Justin Connors, of Fired Pizza Co. in Fredericton, N.B.

On Dec. 12, all three finalists shipped their ingredients, including their own dough, sauce and toppings, to the Moretti Forni kitchen, where the pizzas were baked and scored by a panel of six judges, including members of the Canadian Pizza team, Moretti Forni staff and representatives from Saputo Foodservice, the contest's sponsor.

Agostino's win will send him to the International Pizza Expo in Last Vegas from March 19 to 21, a $1,000 cash prize, a cover feature in Canadian Pizza magazine and a guaranteed spot in the finals of either the traditional or non-traditional category at Pizza Expo. As runner-up, Nixon's Harvest Pizza (which features basil and walnut pesto, sundried tomatoes, baby spinach, royal gala apples, smoked gruyere cheese, slow roasted red peppers and pickled capers) has won him a trip to Pizza Expo and a spot in the finals of either the traditional or non-traditional category. Connors' curried pumpkin and ricotta cheese pizza garnered great feedback from the panel of judges.

Congratulations to all finalists, and many thanks to our sponsors, Saputo Foodservice and Moretti Forni. Stay tuned for the April/May issue of Canadian Pizza magazine, which will feature Agostino on the cover and all the finalists' recipes.

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