Monday, March 03, 2008

It's Official...The results are in. This announcement was sent out to all subscribers of Pizza Today Magazine!

February 27, 2008

International Pizza Expo
The World's Largest and Oldest Pizza Tradeshow!
Las Vegas Convention Center
April 1 - 3, 2008

Pizza Festiva - The Results Are In

After careful, deliberate review, a most difficult decision was made and the field was narrowed down. This year's entries into Pizza Festiva were the best ever and the most difficult to select. You responded in record numbers and the following finalists have been notified that they will compete at International Pizza Expo for a grand prize of $5,000 and the title of World's Best Gourmet Pizza.

Betsy Bates, owner of CobbleStone Cafe and Pizzeria in American Fork, Utah - her entry is called Macho Nacho. Betsy operates a family-owned business and this is her first time to enter Pizza Festiva.

Raffaele Brotzu, owner of Delizioso Cafe in Perth, Western Australia - his entry is a Mushroom Trio Pizza. Raffaele is the winner of Dairy Farmers' Best of the Best Pizza Contest, a sanctioned pre-qualified Pizza Festiva event.

John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio - his entry, Pesto Chicken Pizza, is one of his best sellers. John is no stranger to Pizza Festiva having made the finals in 2004 also.

Theo Kalogeracos, owner of Little Caesars Pizzeria in Perth, Western Australia - his entry is called Greek Lamb Pizza. This is Theo's first time to compete in Pizza Festiva, but he was the winner of the first Italian Chef Wars in 2006.

Dave Schy, vice president of R&D for Figaro's International in Salem, Oregon - his entry is Pepperoni Latino Pizza. This is Dave's first time to enter Pizza Festiva and the first time a chain has made it to the finals.

Jeff Trevino, owner of Brooklyn Pie Company in Round Rock, Texas - his Chicken Chori-Queso Pizza won the Roma Gourmet Pizza Making Contest, another sanctioned Pizza Festiva event.

Paul Wilson, owner of Casa Ristorante in Ft. Wayne, Indiana - his entry is a Calamari Pizza. Paul is also the winner of a sanctioned event, the SOFO Foods Pizza Making Contest.

Dave Winchester, owner of Black Rock Pizza Company in Sparks, Nevada - his entry, Poker Brown Pizza, is named after a camp on the immigrant trail and near several early mining settlements.

These talented pizza-makers will compete in the Elite Eight on Wednesday, April 2. The top four scores will be announced at the World Pizza Games Finals & Rockin' Party Wednesday evening. They will compete in the Final Four for the grand prize of $5,000 on Thursday morning.

Congratulations to our finalists and our appreciation to all who entered. This year's culinary contests promise lots of excitement and plenty of great pizza for the sampling.

Pizza Festiva and the International Pizza Challenge are sponsored by Pizza Today and California Milk Advisory Board. Hobart is the official mixer, General Mills is the preferred flour, Red Gold is the preferred sauce, and Lloyd Industries is the preferred small wares for the competitions.

Registration for International Pizza Expo is in full swing and there's still time to make your plans. Unsold hotel room blocks will be released on Friday, February 29, so timing is urgent for hotel accommodations. To register online (and save $10) and to book your hotel, visit

See you in Las Vegas.

Show Management

International Pizza Expo and Pizza Today's Northeast Pizza Show are sponsored by Pizza Today magazine (The #1 Foodservice Guide for Independent, Chain and Franchise Pizzerias) and NAPO - the National Association of Pizzeria Operators.

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