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Mercurio's Wins 5th Place in the Napoletana Division of the International Pizza Championships

Pizza News, Pizza ExpoDan Tallarico2 Comments
The Mercurio's Crew after their fifth place finish

Michael Mercurio, of Mercurio's pizza in Shadyside, has placed 5th in the Napoletana Division of the International Pizza Challenge. The competition for this is fierce as Michael was competing with seasoned pizzaiolos from across the globe. This competition was so tight that Michael missed out on 3rd place by 12 points and first place by 31. It was one of the closest competitions the judges have seen as the quality of neapolitan pizza continues to grow.

"When I discovered I came in fifth place I was blown away," Michael Mercurio said. "I can't wait to come back next year and compete it again, gonna bring a victory back for Pittsburgh."

Mercurio's award winning Neapolitan pizza

The pie Michael submitted to the judges is a picturesque neapolitan pizza. Perfect leopard printing, an even layer of sauce and dollops of cheese smoothly melted into the pie. It's a remarkable pizza that can go pizza-to-pizza with just about any other neapolitan pizza across the globe.

This is another great pizza accolade for the Pittsburgh Pizza Community.



Dispatch from Pizza Expo Day 3: Pizza Competition and 3 Critical Pizza Rules

Pizza ExpoDan TallaricoComment
Matt Hickey's pizza entry into the pan pizza competition at the 2017 Pizza Expo

Matt Hickey's pizza entry into the pan pizza competition at the 2017 Pizza Expo

Pizza Expo is an astounding event that happens every year in Las Vegas. Last year I sent my associate editor, Tom Tallarico, to the show to cover the pizza news. Tom loves pizza so much he always capitalizes the word. You can read his Pizza Expo Coverage from last year here. This year he spent time investigating the wonders of the pizza competition at Pizza Expo.. These are the fruits of his labor. Read Day 1 Here. Read Day 2 of Pizza Expo Here. 

Pizza EXPO 2017-Day 3

Day 3 continues with the International Pizza Challenge & the World Pizza Games. Local entrants include Eric Von Hansen in the Non-Traditional Division & Matt Hickey in the Pan Division. (As listed here earlier, Matt Hickey, also entered in the World Pizza Games, won the in the Dough Stretching competition.)

Eric’s entry includes a garlic-honey sauce with a steak topping. Matt’s entry has a topping which includes greens, nuts & strawberries lightly topped with balsamic. Results for both will be listed tomorrow.

Eric Von Hansen of Caliente waiting to compete at the 2017 Pizza Expo

Eric Von Hansen of Caliente waiting to compete at the 2017 Pizza Expo

Nino Conigilio Champion Pizza

I attended the Demonstration “My Champion Pizzas” conducted by Nino Coniglio, last year’s Pizza Maker of the Year from Brooklyn. With the classic Brooklyn accent & presentation style, he was a delight to watch & he certainly knows Pizza. He prepared a Mushroom Pizza; not just your typical mushroom pie but one that starts with dough that has fermented for 72 hours. Dough is worked & spread with EVOO, Pecorino Romano & Mozzarella; then topped with Portabella & Shitake mushrooms with Rosemary. Added near the end is truffle cream, pine nuts & finished with Parmigiana Reggiano.

Nino’s Pizza rules include:

  • Put ingredients on evenly (very, very important).

  • Don’t overload the pie.

  • NO Dried Rosemary (not sure if this is a rule or a pet peeve).

Very nice, entertaining Demo.

Of course, one other activity on Day 3 is the obligatory walk through the Exhibit Hall enjoying food sample after food sample & chit chat with the vendors.

The day ends with Pizza Expo Block Party & the completion of the World Pizza Acrobatic Games.

Tony Scardino pointing at Tony Gemigani

Tony Scardino pointing at Tony Gemigani