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Pizza Expo Correspondence - Day 2: Bring the Feed Bag, NEW Pizza & Pizza Trends

Pizza ExpoDan Tallarico1 Comment


HI, this is Dan, editor at Pizza Walk With Me. I've sent Tom Tallarico, my father, to Pizza Expo to cover the event on my behalf. When he isn't scoping out buffets he's working on getting hot scoops and details from the Pizza Expo show floor. Here's his summary of day 2 of the expo. He somehow found a treasure trove of hot dogs. Imagine that! You can read his Pizza Expo Day 1 recap here.

Tom Tallarico, Pizza Walk With Me Associate Journalist.

Day 2: So today was the opportunity to view the exhibits & attend seminars. I’ll first mention that this show is as big as it gets. I’ve attended various Corporate Conventions & this EXPO takes a back seat to no one.

Half Eaten Hot Dog from Pizza Expo. Photo by Tom Tallarico

Half Eaten Hot Dog from Pizza Expo. Photo by Tom Tallarico

The exhibits include food vendors, shop owners & equipment manufacturers. What sets this convention apart from others are the exhibitors not only show or demo the products but actually use them. The benefit is a large array of tasty samples of all kinds that are available. Anything from various pizza types, charcuterie, desserts & even America’s #2 favorite: Hot Dogs along with burger sliders.

Bring the feed bag.

In addition, the unique  attractions of the various Pizza competitions (Pizza Challenge, best pies in different categories along with Pizza skill competitions) is quite entertaining. Then include the various demos for new pizza styles along with seminars with a wide range of topics & you have a well-rounded, comprehensive, entertaining Convention.  

Glenn Cybulski talking new pizza, old in

Glenn Cybulski talking new pizza, old in

The seminars I attended both touched on a similar topic, i.e. new Pizza trends as the craft continues to evolve. The first with speaker, Glenn Cybulski, a Pizza guru in his own right was titled New Pizza, Old Ingredients which focused on creative ways to develop & kick up new Pizza tastes using common  ingredients already in the kitchen.

The focus was substituting the typical tomato sauce with other inventive sauce types. The examples demonstrated were a Cilantro sauce (Serrano peppers, honey, balsamic & EVOO), a Pepperoni sauce (Genius!!; using pepperoni, yellow peppers & mayo) & a Peppadeaux sauce (using the pepper & mayo). Adding some cream or butter to the blended contents completes the tasty sauce.

Now, add preferred toppings which appeals to the eye & you have a NEW PIZZA.  Another benefit here is a premium charge can be justified. Glenn left the group with the comment, “That’s what the Pizza Expo is all about: Come, Create & Share Ideas”. 

Pizzas at Pizza Expo. Photos by Tom Tallarico

Pizzas at Pizza Expo. Photos by Tom Tallarico

The next session “Pizza Trends 2016: Hot foods & Flavors” & Unique Dining Experiences in Nontraditional Settings” was presented by Nancy Kruse, a reviewer of food & marketing trends. Opening comments included the fact that Pizza is “surging”; is America’s #1 Comfort Food & while Pizza shops account for 10% of restaurant types, Pizza menus are the 2nd most popular menu type. 

Reasons include:

1. The American public prefers real food; fresh toppings & sauces with rich flavors.

2. Fresh MTO preparation; daily dough prep. 

3. Use of seasonal & local ingredients.

4. Clean foods; non-processed, hormone free, Organic.

5. Improved Marketing;”Tell your Story”.  This was actually started & perfected sometime ago by ARBY’S.  

A lot of this relates back to Glenn’s presentation defining “New Pizza”. Tomorrow’s session, Day 4, starts with  7:45 keynote speaker with Tony G. 

Look forward to that. Will need to stay out of the casinos after 11 PM.