UDATE: ENTRIES FOR THE 2015 COMPETITION ARE CLOSED
Since its inception in 2007, the International Pizza Challenge™ has evolved and grown in stature and in prize money. Last year we added a fifth division: Gluten-Free, and it will return as part of the Challenge in 2015. We also are expanding the fields in each division and recasting the Italian-style part of the competition as the Pizza Napoletana Division and adhering to the STG definitions of acceptable pizzas for that classification.
The five divisions compete Tuesday through Thursday. A maximum of 80 entries will be accepted in the Traditional and Non-Traditional divisions; contestants will be capped at 30 in the Pan and Pizza Napoletana divisions, with 20 in Gluten-Free. The top four prelinary-round scores from the traditional and non-traditional prelims will advance to the division finals on Thursday. Later on Thursday, the division winners of Traditional, Non-Traditional, Pan and Pizza Napoletana will face off in a mystery-ingredient bake-off for Pizza Maker of the Year. A panel of judges assigns scores for each pizza in each round of the Challenge.
Contestants bring their own ingredients, while show management provides refrigeration space, equipment and ovens. Judging panels are composed of impartial chefs, food critics and other pizzeria owners, and they score each pie using the following criteria:
Taste is scored on:
Visual Presentation / Appearance is scored on:
"Since winning the Traditional Division in March 2014 I've gained a great deal of local notoriety and recognition. First, I was featured on the morning news at our local NBC affiliate, where I prepared and baked my award-winning pizza in the studio. Then came a radio interview with NPR and a feature on the Internet with Columbus Underground.
Stories about my victory have been published in just about every local printed news outlet. People have driven to my pizzeria from other states to taste my pizza! As I'm reflecting, winning the International Pizza Challenge has translated to, approximately, a 23 percent increase in my business."
Bexley Pizza Plus
The following pizza artisans have taken home the top prize since the contest began.
2014 Traditional Division Regional Winners:
• Southwest: Daniel Saccone, Saccone's Pizza & Subs, Austin, TX
• Northwest: Leah Scurto, Pizza My Heart, Los Gatos, CA
• Mid-America: Jose Suarez, Brown Dog Pizza, Telluride, CO
• International: John Pizzo, Armando's Pizza, Windsor, Ontario
• Northeast: Brad Rocco, Bexley Pizza Plus, Bexley, OH
• Southeast: Michael Athanasopoulos, Pizza Bizzar, Clearwater Beach, FL
2014 Traditional Division Finals:
1st: Brad Rocco, Bexley Pizza Plus, Bexley, OH
2nd: Jose Suarez, Brown Dog Pizza, Telluride, CO
3rd: John Pizzo, Armando's Pizza, Windsor, Ontario
2014 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:
• Southwest: Jerome LaSorba, The Pizza Corner, Kapolei, HI
• Northwest: Laura Meyer, Tony's Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
• Southeast: Daulton Cornell, Six Hundred Downtown, Bellafontaine, OH
• Mid-America: Alec Hendrickson, Pompeii Pizza, Elk River, MN
• Northeast: Nick Maggi, GoodFella's, Staten Island, NY
• International: Meghan O'Dea, Pi Gourmet Eatery, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
2014 Non-Traditional Division Finals:
1st: Laura Meyer, Tony's Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
2nd: Attilio Guarino, Emma's Brick Oven, Cranford, NJ (Wild Card Finalist)
3rd: Jerome LaSorba, The Pizza Corner, Kapolei, HI
2014 American-Pan Division Winners:
1st: Matt Molina, Capo's, San Francisco
2nd: Issam Halawi, Pizza Bogo, North Olmsted, OH
3rd: William Manzo, Federal Hill Pizza, Warren, RI
2014 Italian-Style Division Winners:
1st: Giuseppe Manco, Della Rocco's Pizza, New York, NY
2nd: Akinari Makishima, Solo Pizza Napoletana, Nagoya, Japan
3rd: Johnny DiFrancesco, 400 Gradi, Melbourne, Australia
2014 Gluten-Free Division Winners:
1st: Randy Hueffmeier, Randy's Premier Pizza, Oakdale, MN
2nd: Senol Eskici, Armando's, Windsor, Ontario
3rd: Chelsea Basset, Wholly Stromboli, Fort Lupton, CO
2014 Best of the Best Champion: Doug Ferriman, Crazy Dough's Pizza, Boston, MA
2014 Pizza Maker of the Year Champion: Matt Molina, Capo's, San Francisco
2013 Traditional Division Regional Winners:
2013 Traditional Division FINALS:
2013 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:
2013 Non-Traditional Division FINALS:
2013 American Pan Winners:
2013 Italian-Style Winners:
2013 Best of the Best Champion: Theo Kalogeracos, Perth, Australia
2013 Pizza Maker of the Year Award: Floriana Pastore, Italy
2012 Traditional Winner of $7,500
Pizza My Heart
Los Gatos, CA
2012 Non-Traditional Winner of $7,500
Goodfella's Brick Oven Pizza
Staten Island, NY
2012 American-Pan Winner of $4,000
Detroit Style Pizza Co.
St. Clair Shores, MI
Shawn also took home the 2012 Pizza Maker of the Year prize of $5,000 by winning the Mystery-Ingredient Bake-Off.
2012 Italian-Style Winner of $4,000
2012 "Best of the Best" Blind-Box Bake-Off Winner of $2,500
Tony's Pizza Napoletana
San Francisco, CA
2011 Traditional Winner of $10,000
Carmelo also took home the 2011 Pizza Maker of the Year prize of $5,000 by winning the Blind Box Bake-Off.
2011 Non-Traditional Winner of $10,000
2010 Traditional Winner of $10,000
2010 Non-Traditional Winner of $10,000
Theo also took home the 2010 Pizza Maker of the Year prize of $5,000 by winning the Blind Box Bake-Off.
2009 Traditional Winner of $10,000
Grazziano also took home the first Pizzaiolo of the Year prize of $5,000.
2009 Non-Traditional Winner of $10,000
Staten Island, NY
2008 Traditional Winner of $10,000
2007 Winner of $5,000
E. Jay Myers
Staten Island, NY