International Pizza Challenge finds new blood
For the last several years, we’ve seen some familiar faces competing in the five categories of the International Pizza Challenge. It’s always great to see what these fierce competitors come up with year after year, but also getting to know them on a personal level. It’s especially exciting to see competitors who’ve come close to winning before finally make it to the end.
Every year, however, whispers and rumors abound about favoritism by the judges. Here’s the kicker: the judges are truly blind tasting competitors’ entries in the non-traditional and traditional divisions. So how does it actually work?
Competitor A, B, C, D and E are all working on their entries at the same time in front of the crowd. Competitor C’s pizza gets done first, so he or she takes his or her two pizzas to the judging stand. The better of the two is brought whole into the judging booth. There’s no name –– just the competitor’s hand-written card with his or her ingredients and description. The pizza is then cut and served to the judges. Each competitor has his own score sheet, and the scores are entered digitally. Sometimes a couple of pizzas get done at the same time, so the judges are reliant on competitor numbers. (Also, once a work station is clean, we put in the next contestant, so we’re constantly moving.)
In the end, the finalists with the four highest scores compete in the finals, regardless of what region they’re from. The traditional and non-traditional finalists compete against the winners from the pan and Napoletana division using a secret ingredient. And THAT is how we name the Pizza Maker of the Year.
If you competed this year and have feedback, I’d love to hear it. Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Mandy Wolf Detwiler is managing editor of Pizza Today.
May 17, 2018 | Pizza Headlines
Pizza & Pasta Northeast is set to take place October 3-4, 2018, at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Registration for the event is now officially open. Look for details in the coming weeks on our dynamic lineup of workshops, demos, seminars and events. There’s going to be so much to see and do — you’ll… Read More ›
Real-world business applications of AI, chatbots and augmented reality may blow your mind The future is here when it comes to advancing technologies that are shaping the way customers interact with companies. Restaurants are at the forefront of launching tech to engage with their Millennial and Generation Z customers. Take a look at three high-tech… Read More ›
May 15, 2018 | Pizza Headlines
In honor of American Craft Beer Week, we’ve updated our beer and cheese pairing guide. Help your diners pick the best craft beer to accompany your pizza menu. Take a look at some of the following beer and cheese pairing ideas. Match what you have on draft with your specialty pizzas. Craftbeer.com has weighed in… Read More ›