Pizza Expo highlights
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Las Vegas, NV – This year’s International Pizza Expo, held March 19-22 in Las Vegas, Nev., was the place for learning. Learning what pizza makers around the world are doing, learning which trends can translate to money for your pizzeria and discovering products that can make your work easier.
A full slate of seminars and demonstrations helped pizzeria operators streamline their business practices and figure out how current pizza trends can help them make more money.
Canadian Pizza was fortunate to be there and to meet Canadian operators who attended the show and spread the word to the rest of the world about our magazine and unique pizza industry.
Remo Palladini, organizer of Pizza Fest in Woodbridge, Ont., and friend Robert Billingsley, stopped by the booth to say hello, as did Rob and Karen Shortreed of Roka Woodfired Pizza in Beaumont, Alta., who were looking for ideas and products for their newly opened mobile business (and simultaneously celebrating the birth of their grandson). Richard Ames of Daddio’s in Grande Prairie, Alta., Joe Leroux of Amadio’s in Mississauga, Ont., and many others checked in, including Chef of the Year Matteo Cesarotto and runnerup Giuseppe Cortinovis. As the face on our latest cover, Matteo enjoyed some recognition and stayed to chat with other attendees.
We also met up with Giorgio Taverniti and wife Maria, at the Rockin’ Pizza Party and, during the some of the many educational sessions offered, crossed paths with Mike Giresi of Giresi’s Pizza in Sarnia, Ont., who was our third-place finisher in last year’s Chef of the Year – Open.
Matteo and Giuseppe competed professionally in their respective Traditional and Non-Traditional categories, Matteo bringing his winning wild boar sausage pizza to an appreciative wider audience. Competing in another country brought with it the challenge of making the signature sausage entirely on his own. Giuseppe changed up his entry to a pecorino-topped pie cooked it in a conveyor oven. Read more about Matteo’s and Giuseppe’s experiences and other competition highlights – including a couple of Canadian competitors – in our April/May edition.
Giulia Colmignoli and Christopher Antinucci, co-owners and operators of Napizza in San Diego, Calif., demonstrated how to make the specialized but very versatile pizza al taglio, or Roman-style pizza, which can add sales dollars to any pizzeria willing to give it a try.
Mike Rutledge of Farrelli’s Wood Fired in Tacoma, Wash., Jeff Smokevich of Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, Colo., and Blue Pan in Denver, Colo., and Eric Spata who with wife Christal co-owns Valeo’s in Kenosha, Wis., all have had success incorporating gluten-free pies into their pizzerias. The three industry veterans had plenty of advice for a very curious audience on how to do it. The bottom line: customers are asking for it, it’s well worth bringing in – as long as it doesn’t affect the quality of the pizza you are known for.
Get details of these informative sessions, which show how tuning into trends can make money for your pizzeria, in our April/May edition.
Check out photos from Expo 2018 in our Facebook gallery.