March 4 - 7, 2019
Exhibits Open: March 5, 2019
Las Vegas Convention Center



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 Gluten-Free.

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 Pan, Pizza Napoletana and Gluten-Free 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 those divisional finals, the two top finishers in Traditional and Non-Traditional face off against the highest scorers from the Pan and Pizza Napoletana divisions 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 Pan or Pizza Napoletana) 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

2018 Schedule

Tuesday, March 20
10 am – 3:30 pm
Traditional Division Prelims

10 am – 1:30 pm
Pizza Napoletana Competition and Finals

Wednesday, March 21
10 am – 3:30 pm
Non-Traditional Division Prelims

10 am – 2 pm
Pan Division Competition and Finals (Day 1)

Thursday, March 30
9 am – 1 pm
Gluten-Free Division Competition and Finals

10 am – noon
Pan Division Competition and Finals (Day 2)

10 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.

View the International Pizza Challenge rules.

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Our 2017 Winners

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