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 0 and day 1 of the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
Tom Tallarico, Pizza Walk With Me Associate Journalist.
Day 0: As the Expo nears, I recall early on how Pizza was always a part of growing up. Of course, Amato’s in downtown Etna was a constant destination. A Friday treat was always going out to a restaurant for Pizza. And during the high school years, the gathering place after games was always some pizza shop. So anticipation for the Expo not only generated a high degree of excitement but memories of Pizza days past as well.
The top mission on Day 0 was to obtain the media pass. So once settled in the hotel, it was off to the Convention Center. Getting the pass was simple so mission accomplished early on.
Some initial seminars were an hour or so from starting so I decided to check out the Exhibit Hall. With 16 hours before the official open, activity was high as setup looked to be about 60% completed. That documented, the opportunity to attend some initial seminar sessions was taken.
The 1st related to marketing of the Pizzeria; & not just the product.
The 2nd session was a panel discussion with the topic “Common Pizzeria start-Up Mistakes & How to Avoid Them.” This was most interesting with the crowd fully engaged. The moderator was Jeremy White, editor of Pizza Today & the panel included luminaries Tony G., Pizza Godfather, 2 successful shop owners from Colorado & Scott Anthony from Punxsutawny. This was quite exciting with my roots also from Pa & with distant ties to Punxy. I had recently talked to a Punxsutawney native. We somehow started talking Pizza. He suggested there were many shops in Punxsy but only 2 or 3 of any quality. I’m betting Punxsy Pizza was one of them. Needless to say, the session was quite interesting as the panel shared their growing pains & the steps taken to overcome them.
Day 1: Well, some weeks ago the editor of PWWM wondered aloud why his Dad often emphasized the beauty of the buffet. He then went on to write about the wonders of the Spirit Sunday brunch buffet. Well, due to prior commitments the closest I came to the subject of Pizza was this:
This was just a small part of the Wynn buffet which included Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, a full Asian station, Charcuterie, Quail & Duck dishes, extensive shellfish entrees, etc. etc. And the Pizza wasn’t bad at all.
Unfortunately, wasn’t able to attend the sessions. Was looking forward to attending a Panel discussion on Wood-Fired Mobile Pizzerias & a session on “Maximizing Your Ingredient List”. However, that speaker, Glenn Cybulski, has a session tomorrow titled “New Pizza, Old Ingredients” which I plan on attending along with sessions “Pizza Trends 2016: Hot foods & Flavors” & Unique Dining Experiences in Nontraditional Settings”. The day concludes with the Pizza Expo Block Party & World Class Pizza Games Finals. Stay tuned.