|Food Network Host Robert Irvine: Restaurant Impossible|
|Stefano Ferrara Wood-Fire Oven|
|Pizza Expo Workshop|
This year, keynote speakers included Chef Robert Irvine, the host of Food Network's primetime series Restaurant: Impossible, and Bill Jacobs, owner of Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, a Chicago pizzeria / brewpub, who was named the 2011 Independent Pizzeria of the Year by Pizza Today magazine. Competitions such as the International Pizza Challenge and World Pizza Games are always crowd pleasers. The seminars and cooking demos also piqued my interest. Craft beer, power panels, and operator presentations were also among this year's attractions.
It's been several days after returning from our whirlwind trip to the Pizza Expo. Two words can describe how I felt for three days. Sensory Overload. I decided to attend the Pre-Conference Day on Monday, which focuses on first-time attendees and those who are new to the business.
|Tony Gemignani: Respect the Craft|
|Melissa Rickman impresses Tony G.|
Sicilian, New York and Neapolitan pizzas. He also discussed oven management with the different types of pizza. A couple of volunteers, including Larry Cariglio of Lorenzo's in Oberlin, Ohio and long-time member of the Pizza Making Forum helped him form and dress pizzas. Melissa Rickman of Wholly Stromboli in Ft. Lupton, Colorado, eagerly volunteered to help Tony and would later compete in the Pizza Competition. A surprise guest, Don Antonio Starita, was asked to demonstrate creating a Neapolitan pizza, and was given the "Lifetime Achievement Award". I'll be writing a detailed post of this wonderful tribute soon!
|Don Antonio Starita is honored by Roberto Caporuscio|
|Celebrity Iron Chef turns Pizzaiola|