International Pizza Challenge

The Largest U.S. Pizza-Making Competition

Pizza Makers Vie for Prizes in Five Divisions

Since its inception in 2007, the International Pizza Challenge™ has evolved and grown in stature and prize money to become the best pizza-making competition in North America. There are now five divisions in the pizza bake-off attracting approximately 200 pizzaioli. They bake a pie from their pizza menu on the spot at Pizza Expo and present it to a panel of judges, with cash prizes and plaques going to the winners. The five divisions include Traditional, Non-Traditional, Pan, Pizza Napoletana and Roman.

The bake-offs run Tuesday through Thursday at Pizza Expo. A maximum of 60 entries are accepted in the Traditional and Non-Traditional divisions; contestants are capped at 30 in the Pizza Napoletana and 20 in the Pan and Roman divisions. The top four preliminary-round scores from the Traditional and Non-Traditional fields advance to the division finals on Thursday. After winners are named in all the divisional finals, the winners will face off against each other in a mystery-ingredient bake-off for Pizza Maker of the Year. The winning pizzaiolo selected by the judges receives $5,000 and a trophy to add to earnings of either $4,000 (if he or she advanced through Pizza Napoletana, Pan or Roman) or $7,500 (through Traditional or Non-Traditional). All top finishers claim bragging rights for their pizza marketing campaigns.

A “Best of the Best” bake-off is held Thursday as well, featuring past champions in a blind-box event. The four competitors must use all of the ingredients in the blind box revealed to them just before bake time, plus ingredients from a common table.

Contestants bring their own ingredients. Show management provides refrigeration space, equipment and ovens. Judging panels are composed of impartial chefs, food critics and others from the pizzeria industry, and they score each pie using the following criteria:

Taste is scored on:

  • Crust
  • Sauce, Cheese, Toppings
  • Overall Taste
  • Creativity (Non-Traditional and American-Pan divisions only)

Visual Presentation / Appearance is scored on:

  • Bake
  • Visual Presentation

2020 Schedule

Tuesday, March 31
9 am – 4:30 pm
Traditional Division Prelims

9 am – 2:15 pm
Pizza Napoletana Competition and Finals

Wednesday, April 1
9 am – 4:30 pm
Non-Traditional Division Prelims

9 am – 4:30 pm
Pan Division Competition and Finals

Thursday, April 2
9 am – 1 pm
Roman Division Competition and Finals

9 am – 12:30 pm
Traditional and Non-Traditional Division Finals

12:30 – 1:30 pm
“Best of the Best” Bake-Off

1:30 – 2:30 pm
Pizza Maker of the Year Bake-Off

NOTE: You must register as an attendee before you can enter the Pizza Challenge. Registration for Challenge events may be completed online while you register.

RESULTS FOR THE COMPETITION

2019 Traditional Division Regional Winners:

    Northeast: Eric Barrios, Brooklynn Pizza Crew

    Southeast: Gio Casetta

    Mid-America: Paul Cataldo

    Northwest: Michael Bacon

    Southwest: Lars Smith

    International: Charles Labelle

 

    2019 Traditional Division Winner:

    1st: Paul Cataldo

 

    2019 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:

    Northeast: Pete Tolman

    Southeast: Leo Dicesaris

    Mid-America: Matt Tandal

    Northwest: Ed Barbeau

    Southwest: Michael Stevens

    International: Federico De Silvestri

 

    2019 Non-Traditional Division Winner:

    1st: Federico De Silvestri

    2019 Pan Division Winner

    1st: Nick Franchi

 

    2019 Pizza Napoletana Division Winner:

    1st: Luca DeMannis

 

    2019 Roman Division Winner:

    1st: Derek Sanchez

 

    2019 Best of the Best Champion:

    Luciano Carciotto

 

    2019 Pizza Maker of the Year:

    Federico De Silvestri

2018 Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast:Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Draft House, Pittsburgh, PA
Southeast: Massimo Mannino, Marabella Pizza & Grill, Washington, NC
Mid-America: Bradford Rocco, Bexley Pizza Plus, Bexley, OH
Northwest: Peter Agourias
Southwest: Peter Anezinos, Zorbas Pizza & Pasta, Millbrae, CA
International: Silvio Pizze a Portafoglio, Naples, Italy

2018 Traditional Division Winner

1st: Peter Anezinos, Zorbas Pizza & Pasta, Millbrae, CA

2018 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Draft House, Pittsburgh, PA
Southeast: Abe Colin, Humble Pie Pizza Co., Alpharetta, GA
Mid-America: Mathew McCrackin, Upper Crust, Lakewood, OH
Northwest: Sean Danger von Dempsey, Dempseys Brewery Pub & Restaurant, Watertown, SD
Southwest: Terry Thomson, Rickety Cricket Brewing, Kingman, AZ
International: Ricardo La Rosa, :La Picea di La Rosa Riccardo, Levanto, Italy

2018 Non-Traditional Division Winner

1st: Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Draft House, Pittsburgh, PA

2018 Pan Division Winner

1st: Issam Halawi, Upper Crust, Lakewood, OH

2018 Pizza Napoletana Division Winner

1st: Umberto Fornito, Antica Pizzeria Frattese

2018 Gluten-Free Division Winner

1st: Antonio Langone, Molini Pizzuti

2018 Best of the Best Champion: Tim Silva, Pizza My Heart

2018 Pizza Maker of the Year: Umberto Fornito, Antica Pizzeria Frattese Frattamaggiore, Italy

2017 Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Nicholas Fink, Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse, Pittsburgh, PA
Southeast: Brian Hall, Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse, Louisville, KY
Midwest: Joey Neidel, Tusconos, Buckner, MO
Northwest: Sean Dempsey, Dempsey’s Brewery Pub & Restaurant, Watertown, SD
Southwest: Kim Duncan, Forghedaboudit Pizza, Deming, NM
International: Luciano Carciotto, Pizzeria 7+, Italy

2017 Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Luciano Carciotto, Pizzeria 7+, Italy
2nd: Kelsey Jones, Newcastle Pizzeria, Newcastle, CA
3rd: Joey Neidel, Tusconos, Buckner, MO

2017 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse, Pittsburgh, PA
Southeast: Jane Mines, Nimas Pizza & More, Gassville, AR
Midwest: Alex Garcia, Flo’s, Grand Rapids, MI
Northwest: Ed Barbeau, Pisano’s Woodfired, Bend, OR
Southwest: Constantino Anezinos, Zorbas, San Francisco
International: Giulio Scappaticci, La Cortiglia, Italy

2017 Non-Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Lars Smith, State of Mind Public House & Pizzeria, Los Altos, CA
2nd: Jane Mines, Nimas Pizza & More, Gassville, AR
3rd: Constantino Anezinos, Zorbas, San Francisco

2017 Pan Division Winners

1st: Giuseppe Manco, Prova Pizzabar, New York City
2nd: Leonardo Rago, Panino’s, Evanston, IL
3rd: Chris Decker, Metro Pizza, Las Vegas, NV

2017 Pizza Napoletana Division Winners:

1st: Giovanni Landi, Pizzeria Vanin, Italy
2nd: Vito Iacopelli, Prova Pizzeria, West Hollywood, CA
3rd: Kyle Garland, Touch of Italy II, Rehoboth Beach, DE

2017 Gluten-Free Division Winners:

1st: Issam Halawi, Upper Crust Pizza, North Olmsted, OH
2nd: Vince Rotolo, Evel Pie, Las Vegas, NV
3rd: Andrea Cozzolino, Zero95 Pizza Restaurant, Australia

2017 Best of the Best Champion:

Graziano Bertuzzo, Italy
2017 Pizza Maker of the Year:

Luciano Carciotto, Pizzeria 7+, Italy

2016 Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
Southeast: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza, Gassville, AR
Midwest: Joey Neidel, Tusconos, Buckner, MO
Northwest: Michael Rutledge, Farrelli’s, Tacoma, WA
Southwest: Daniel Saccone, Saccone’s Pizza & Sub, Austin, TX
International: Giuseppe Marcuccilli, Pizzeria la Magnolia, Roccasecca, Italy

2016 Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY

2nd: John Vigliotti, Peppino’s, Syracuse, NY

3rd: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza, Gassville, AR

2016 Non-Traditional Division Winners:

Northeast: Andrew Scudera, Goodfella’s, Staten Island, NY
Southeast: Brian Hall, Tony Boombozz Pizzeria, Louisville, KY
Midwest: Brad Corbin, Sloppy’s Sports Cafe, Lakeside, OH
Northwest: Alec Henrickson, Pompeii Pizzeria, Elk River, MN
Southwest: Matt Hutchinson, Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana, Houston, TX
International: Isaac Macdougall, Pizzeria Defina, Toronto, ON

2016 Non-Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Brian Hall, Tony Boombozz Pizzeria, Louisville, KY

2nd: Louie Bossi, Louie Bossi’s, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

3rd: Andrew Scudera, Goodfella’s, Staten Island, NY

2016 Pan Division Winners:

1st: Eric Von Hansen, Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse, Pittsburgh, PA

2nd: Massimo Mannino, Marabella, Washington, NC

3rd: Tony Ganesh, Panino’s Pizzeria, Park Ridge, IL

2016 Pizza Napoletana Division Winners:

1st: Cuono Pannella, Pizzeria da Nino, Acerra, Italy

2nd: Gazmir Zeneli, Rossopomodoro, Brooklyn, NY

3rd (tie): Vito Iacopelli, Provo The Art of Pizza, West Hollywood, CA
Gennaro Russo, Dal Presidente, Napoli, Italy

2016 Gluten-Free Division Winners:

1st: Victoria Wolf, Denver, CO

2nd: Giuseppe Lucia, Zio Giglio, Lecce, Italy

3rd: Frank Baird, Franco’s Pizza, Chardon, OH

2016 Best of the Best Champion: Matt Molina, Capo’s, San Francisco, CA

2016 Pizza Maker of the Year Champion: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY

2015 Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Marco Flores, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
Southeast: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza, Gassville, AR
Mid America: Robert Sipes, Marco’s Pizza, Toledo, OH
Northwest: Aaron Hecht, Wild West Pizzeria, West Yellowstone, MT
Southwest: Arturo Ruiz-Gomez, Joe’s NY Pizza, Las Vegas, NV
International: Aaron Gehrman, Emilio Finatti Pizzeria, White Rock, BC, Canada

2015 Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Marco Flores, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY

2nd: Robert Sipes, Marco’s Pizza, Toledo, OH

3rd: Arturo Ruiz-Gomez, Joe’s NY Pizza, Las Vegas, NV

2015 Non-Traditional Division Winners:

Northeast: Jeffrey Gontarski, Esposito’s Pizza, Manasquan, NJ
Southeast: Rick Mines, Nima’s Pizza, Gassville, AR
Mid America: Brad Rocco, Bexley Pizza Plus, Bexly, OH
Northwest: Cameron Tittle, Kaos Pizzeria, Denver, CO
Southwest: Haider Ali, 786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza, Sunland, CA
International: Sposato Domenico, Pizzeria La Conchiglia, Sona Verona, Italy

2015 Non-Traditional Division Finals:

1st: Tim Silva, Pizza My Heart, Los Gatos, CA

2nd: Joey Gonzalez, Isa’s Pizza, Phoenix, AZ

3rd: Haider Ali, 786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza, Sunland, CA

2015 Pan Division Winners:

1st: Matt Taylor, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

2nd: Nino Coniglio, Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY

3rd: Davide Civitiello, Rossopomodoro, Napoli, Italy

2015 Pizza Napoletana Division Winners:

1st: Tonino Cogliano, La Pizzeria, Frigento, Italy

2nd: Thiago Vasconcelos, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

3rd: Akinari Makishima, Solo Pizza Napoletana, Nagoya, Japan

2015 Gluten-Free Division Winners:

1st: Joyanne Heard, Chi Pie, Edmond, OK

2nd: Mike Eaton, Detroit Style Pizza Co., St. Clair Shores, MI

3rd: Giuseppe Lapolla, Pizzeria Primo Italian Restaurant, Kilkenny, Ireland

2015 Best of the Best Champion: Floriana Pastore, Corporate Pizza Chef in Dubai

2015 Pizza Maker of the Year Champion: Tim Silva, Pizza My Heart, Los Gatos, CA

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:

Northeast: Bruno DiFabio, Renapoli, Old Greenwich, CT.
Northwest: Thiago Vasconcelos, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, CA.
Southeast: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza & More Inc., Gassville, AR.
Southwest: Michael Stevens, Pallo Mesa Pizza, Arroyo, CA.
Mid-America: Javier Valdez, Joe’s New York Pizza, Henderson, NV.
International: Danilo Lupo, Pizzeria Defina, Toronto, ON.
Wild Card: Leah Scurto, Pizza My Heart, Las Gatos, CA.
Canada: Rick Nixon, Itza Ristorante & Pizzeria, Nelson, B.C.

2013 Traditional Division FINALS:

1st: Thiago Vasconcelos, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, CA.
2nd: Jane Mines, Nima’s Pizza & More Inc., Gassville, AR.
3rd: Bruno DiFabio, Renapoli, Old Greenwich, CT.

2013 Non-Traditional Division Regional Winners:

Northeast: Doug Ferriman, Crazy Dough’s Pizza, Boston, MA.
Northwest: Tim Hoffman, Barros Pizza, Phoenix, AZ.
Southeast: Michael LaMarca, Master Pizza, Mayfield Heights, OH.
Southwest: Joleen Piser, AJ Barile’s Chicago Pizza, Yucaipa, CA.
Mid-America: Melissa Rickman, Wholly Stromboli, Fort Lupton, CO.
International: Floriana Pastore, Italy
Wild Card: Lars Smith, Pizza My Heart, Los Gatos, CA.
Canada: Rocco Agostino, Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto, Ontario

2013 Non-Traditional Division FINALS:

1st: Floriana Pastore, Italy
2nd: Tim Hoffman, Barros Pizza, Phoenix, AZ.
3rd: Rocco Agostino, Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto, Ontario

2013 American Pan Winners:

1st: Jeff Smokevitch, Brown Dog Pizza, Telluride, CO.
2nd: Matthew Heard, Humble Pie, Edmond, OK.
3nd: Matt Tierney, Pele’s Wood Fire, Jacksonville, FL.

2013 Italian-Style Winners:

1st: Michele D’Amelio, Pizzeria Testa, Liono (AV), Italy.
2nd: Chris Calloway, Pele’s Wood Fire, Jacksonville, FL.
3nd: Akinari Makishima, SOLO PIZZA Napoletana Co. Ltd., Nagoya, Aichi/Japan

2013 Best of the Best Champion: Theo Kalogeracos, Perth, Australia

2013 Pizza Maker of the Year Award: Floriana Pastore, Italy

2012 Traditional Winner
Tim Silva
Pizza My Heart
Los Gatos, CA

2012 Non-Traditional Winner
Andrew Scudera
Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza
Staten Island, NY

2012 American-Pan Winner
Shawn Randazzo
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
Umberto Fornito
Napoli, Italy

2012 “Best of the Best” Blind-Box Bake-Off Winner
Tony Gemignani
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
San Francisco, CA