Canadian Pizza Magazine

What can pizzerias gain from Chef of the Year?

By Canadian Pizza   


What can pizzeria operators gain from competing in or attending the Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year competitions? Here’s what past winners have to say about the experience.

Dean Litster

“Pizza’s limits end only with your imagination. I don’t want to keep the status quo.” – Dean Litster, Chef of the Year (Open) 2019
Watch the video: Chef of the Year Dean Litster at Pizza Expo

Giuseppe Cortinovis
“Sometimes I like to go into a new restaurant and see what they do. . . . [At the Canadian Pizza Summit] they are doing the pizza they probably think is the best on their menu. It’s a massive cheat of information.” –Giuseppe Cortinovis, Chef of the Year (Traditional) 2019, runner-up 2016 and 2018
Watch the video: Chef of the Year Giuseppe Cortinovis at Pizza Expo

Diana Cline
“I’m honoured. I really feel that (the championship) further separates me from the ‘generic’ pizza that is out there.” –Diana Cline, Chef of the Year 2005 and 2006


Liliane Sibonney
“I tried to think how could I be original and still be able to do it. It comes out like a lasagna, but tastes like pizza.” –Liliane Sibonney, Chef of the Year 2007

Cory Medd
“It’s motivation and an advertising opportunity as well. No one else in town is doing that; from that you get lots of press, free publicity.” –Cory Medd, Chef of the Year 2008 and 2012

Tom Stankiewicz
“Like a boxer, there will always be a challenger; always somebody with better ideas. If you prove you are good at what you do it is the perfect time to step back and share the knowledge and teach others to be more successful.” –Tom Stankiewicz, Chef of the Year 2009

Dave Housman
“I am a little obsessive-compulsive you could say. If something is not a specific way that it should be it bothers me.” –Dave Housman, Chef of the Year 2010

Pasqualino Oliveri
“You learn, you see other people and what they do and what they make. I think you never finish learning, ever . . . . It’s good for the business and good for yourself.” –Pasqualino Oliveri, Chef of the Year 2011

Rocco Agostino
“Pizza is one of those things that evokes really good memories, no matter how old you are, or what background you’re from, it just seems that at some point someone had a pizza that’s that comforting memory that really hits home.” –Rocco Agostino, Chef of the Year 2013

Carlo Raillo
“I want something new for the customer. To make a good pizza is not easy.” –Carlo Raillo, Chef of the Year 2014, 2015 and 2017

Joe Leroux
“Events like the Canadian Pizza Show and International Pizza Expo are your HR department, your R&D department and your marketing department all rolled into one.” –Joe Leroux, Chef of the Year 2016

Matteo Cesarotto
“It’s a big honour not only as an award but also because it helped me see I was a professional.” –Matteo Cesarotto, Chef of the Year 2018

Marina Rondinelli
“Until I entered this contest, the pulled pork was a good seller, but it’s off the chart now.” –Marina Rondinelli, runner-up 2011 and 2012

Steve Silvestro
“I hope to always be able to be this engaged in what I’m passionate about. I love cooking Italian food, I love cooking food, I love working in restaurants. –Steve Silvestro, runner-up 2014, third place 2017

Antonio Rupolo
“We’ve sold a few of my winning pizzas. I put the plaque up in the store. People ask me who is the junior chef, I say it’s me and I talk to them about it.” –Antonio Rupolo, Junior Chef of the Year 2016 and Great Pizza Box Fold-Off winner 2017

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