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Best of Pizza Expo 2022

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Updated: June 19, 2022

Last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, pizzaiolos from all over got together for Pizza Expo 2022. They showed off their pizza-making skills and competed in fun competitions. We didn’t get to make it this year, but we still followed along from home to learn from the best!

pizza expo 2022 spelled in flour
Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

We put together a post all about Pizza Expo 2022. Hopefully, we will attend the event in person next year and get the chance to watch our favorite pizzaiolos show off their incredible talents.

What is Pizza Expo 2022?

The Pizza Expo is a yearly meeting of the best pizza minds in the business. It covers every element of the industry. It’s a trade show for every pizza professional, from the creative pie making to the business end of how to effectively and successfully run a pizzeria.

Pizza Expo is a place to network with fellow pizzeria owners and managers who face similar challenges in different markets. Attendees learn from successful pizzaiolos, who give pizza-making demonstrations and share advice on business-related topics in the seminars. 

It is not open to the general public, just to people in the pizza industry who want to level up their skills and have some fun.

One of the biggest names at the event was master pizzaiolo, Tony Gemignani. He gave demonstrations answered questions about everything dough, sauce, and cheese. He signed copies of his famous book, aptly titled The Pizza Bible.

The Pizza Expo is more than just a pizza convention or tradeshow. Its created by people who truly love pizza. There are vendors selling flour mills, pizza cutters, pizza peels, pizza stones, pizza ovens, food processors for dough, and every other kitchen gadget to aid in making the best pizza.

Attendees can taste test pizza from pizzerias specializing in Chicago deep-dish, Detroit-style, New York-style, California-style, and even crispy crunchy St. Louis-style pizzas. While attendees are stuffing their faces with amazing pizza, the pizzaiolos prepare for demonstrations, seminars, competitions, and games.

Pizza Expo 2022 Categories

Pizza Expo has pizzaiolo competitions for skilled pizzaiolos to show off their incredible pizza skills. Competitors face off in the International Pizza Challenge in Traditional, Non-traditional, Pan, and Napoletana Divisions to win cash prizes, industry exposure, and, of course, coveted bragging rights.

The judges decide based on the crust, sauce, overall taste, and visual presentation. In the non-traditional and pan divisions, creativity points are awarded. This year, in addition to the traditional competitions, they added a new category, the International Italian Sandwich Competition.

World Pizza Games at Pizza Expo 2022

pizza expo 2022
Photo from Pizza Expo Facebook page: Pizzaiolo Tara Hattan competing.

Of course, the best part of Pizza Expo 2022 is the World Pizza Games, where pizzaiolos compete in different games focused on showcasing industry skills. The games include:

  • Freestyle Acrobatic Dough Tossing participants compete in what is a mix of gymnastics, acrobats, and pizza making.
  • Fastest Dough participants show off their speedy dough-making skills.
  • Largest Dough Stretch participants compete in a timed dough stretch.
  • Fastest Pizza Box Folding participants demonstrate quick box folding skills.
  • Pizza Triathlon where participants first fold a pizza box, then stretch two 22-ounce balls of dough, one to 16 inches in diameter, the other to 24 inches. Judges do not accept any hole larger than a #2 pencil, and times are recorded down to the hundredth of a second.
  • Tandem Team Competition participants compete in teams.

Speakers at Pizza Expo 2022

The keynote speakers offer a prelude to the extensive learning opportunities available at Pizza Expo, from intensive School of Pizzeria Management courses and show floor demonstrations to how-to sessions, all taught by leading industry pros.

Ken Forkish, author of The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home, served as a judge and speaker this year. And restaurateur Rocky Shanower, the owner of Park Street Pizza in Sugarcreek, Ohio, was a keynote speaker.

Well-known Iron Chef Judge and Restaurateur Donatella Arpaia also participated and shared her knowledge with eager listeners. Arpaia is the founder of Prova Pizza.

Nicole Bean, a pizzaiolo and consultant, gave a seminar on The Logistics of Offering Multiple Pizza Styles and Building Your Beverage List. You can follow her and learn how to enhance your pizza-making skills. Based out of Houston, she offers classes and consultation @thepizzayou

Pizzaiolos to Follow From Pizza Expo 2022

The best part of Pizza Expo, even though we couldn’t attend this year, is learning about different pizzaiolos and their journeys into the business. 

Miriam Weiskind is a pizzaiolo who lost her job during the pandemic, started her own pizzeria in her apartment. She made pies for frontline workers for free.

She also created a pay if forward where people can help her keep the pizza love going. Check out her story and learn how to pay it forward @thezareport

Leah Scurto is a pizzaiolo who offers private classes and consulting. You can try her pies if you are in the Bay area @PizzaLeah.

One of the trends at Pizza Expo 2022 was plant-based ingredients. Restaurant and pizzeria owners are adding more options for vegans and plant-based diners.

A vegan pizzaiolo to follow is @BKFreshGrocer. Check out all the ways a vegan pizza can be delicious.

Pizzaiolos to Follow From Pizza Expo 2022

There were so many new pizzaiolos to follow. Here are a few of our favorites.

@FiredUpFreshMobile wood fired pizza out of California

@MezzalunaWoodfired pizza out of Pennsylvania

@IzzysPizzaBus specializes in Detroit-style pizza in Las Vegas.

@brooklynsbestlv

@devouredpopup 

Check out some highlights of Pizza Expo 2022 here.

Have you ever heard of Pizza Expo 2022? What skills would you like to master as a home pizza chef?

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

Our friends over at Pro Pizza Ovens have released a handy dandy “Find Your Dream Pizza Oven” Quiz with just 5-6 questions to answer to choose the absolute best pizza oven for your family to buy for your home or backyard. Try it today!

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Authors

DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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