Wow, it’s finally here. Pizza Walk With Me’s third International Pizza Expo. Pizza Expo is home to the World Pizza Games, pizza innovations, hundreds of vendors and an event that basically turns Las Vegas into a huge Pizza Think Tank. Talk about paradise.
In the past, I’ve sent our associate editor (and my father) Tom Tallarico. He brought back hot scoops and breaking news about Caliente winning the Pizza Championship in 2016, a photo with pizza Trail Blazers like Tony Gemignani and Scott Anthony, and he has gotten me enrolled on several vendors mailing list. Thanks Dad!
But this year we’re doubling our staff - I’m heading out to Las Vegas on Monday to attend my first ever Pizza Expo. Together this Father and Son Pizza Duo will bring you amazing stories about up and coming pizza makers, we’ll deliver breaking news faster than you can heat up a Freschetta, and produce a couple of videos with pizza royalty. Here’s a preview of some of the coverage we’re looking to bringing your way.
The International Pizza Challenge
When people ask me what goes on at the International Pizza Expo one of the things I always bring up are the pizza championships. While there’s also the World Pizza Games, which focus on talent and dough tricks (like box folding), the International Pizza Challenge. There are a number of competitors that enter the International Pizza Challenge vying for the best pizza in a multitude of pizza categories. It’s an amazing event because it brings together the variety of pizzas that have evolved and sprouted across the United States.
Divisions are broken up by traditional, non-traditional, pan, pizza napoleteana and gluten free. It’s a swath of categories that cover everything from Detroit Style pizza to the pizza that was perfected in the heart of Italy.
I plan to follow a couple of different pizza contestants, one of which is Anthony Scardino. Scardino is a seasoned pizza veteran who has spent the past few years bringing an eclectic bout of pizza to life in Chicago. Everything from Bonci to Sicilian Style. He’s so thorough in his experimenting that he has earned / given himself the name Professor Pizza. I’m looking forward to the experiment he brings to the International Pizza Challenge!
The Women of Pizza
Did you catch the Ugly Delicious episode about pizza? Cool. The most amazing part of that episode is how they managed to talk to only dudes. It’s an industry of old white guys, that’s for sure.
Luckily, the show will play host to showcasing some of the women in the industry. On Wednesday we’ll be heading to the show floor to talk with some of these women, learn their stories, what made them get into this industry and where they see the industry growing. Here’s who we’ll be talking to:
Giorgia Cporuscio - Possibly the only female pizzaiolo in the US!
Laura Meyer - A winner at the International Pizza Expo and trained under Tony Gemignani.
Ann Kim - Owner and chef at three pizza shops in Minneapolis. Winner of best new restaurant accolades.
Jeanette Catena - Educator and trainer of a variety of different pizza styles in the United States. Founded Pizzeria LUNA in NJ.
Nikki West - Chief Experience Officer of NYPD Pizza in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nicole Bean - An owner of pizza restaurants in Houston, Texas, serving both Detroit and New York Style pizza.
Awesome line up of women and I can’t wait to hear their stories and share them with the world.
Pizza + Social Media, a Match Made in Heaven
Scott Anthony, a seasoned leader in the pizza industry and owner of Punxy Pizza in Punxsutawney, PA, reached out to me about his session helping pizza owners improve their social media presence and outreach to pizza journalist like myself.
Scott has been in the industry for years and can’t sit still. He’s always jetting around to pizza events across the country helping to spread the word and passion of pizza. I’ll be stopping by his session to pick his brain and get his thoughts on the current pizza landscape.
Lots of Pizza
Pizza Expo is home to pizza innovations, cutting edge techniques and huge personalities. I’ll do my best to capture exactly what’s going on in the Pizza Industry and do my best to see what the next big thing is going to be. Will it be Detroit Style Pizza, which has its own session on Thursday? Or maybe a new type of cheese or a baking technique?
Stay tuned for more pizza highlights. Don’t want to miss an update? You can follow Pizza Walk With Me on Instagram at Instagram.com/PizzaWalkWith. Don't forget to sign up for the mailing list to get hot scoops and hot pizza news delivered right to your inbox!