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September 12, 2011


PMQ’s 6th Annual Orlando Pizza Show (, held September 8 to 10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and co-located with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show—the largest food show in the Southeast—proved to be a great success.

In addition to a bevy of pizza-centric vendors providing attendees with information on what’s new in the industry and the opportunity to learn from seasoned restaurateurs, three competitions took place, which gave contestants the opportunity to earn a place on the United States Pizza Team. The first place winner in each category automatically earned a spot on the team, and the winners of the American Pizza Championship and the Freestyle Acrobatics contests will join the team when it travels internationally in 2012.

Winners for the Gluten-Free Pizza Competition include 1st Place, Mike Amheiser from Pizza Dock in Fredricktown, Ohio; 2nd Place, Patrick Maggi from Pasquale's Deli and Pizzeria in Demascus, Maryland; and 3rd Place, Jason Samosky from Samosky's Pizza in Valley City, Ohio. Judges for the contest included Betsy Craig, CEO of MenuTrinfo; Gary Jones, culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts; Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod, executive editor at Delight Gluten-Free Magazine; and Carol Kicinski, a recipe developer at Simply…Gluten-Free.

Winners for the American Pizza Championship, Fall 2011 include 1st Place, Jamie Culliton from Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; 2nd Place, Jeff Smokevitch from Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, Colorado; and 3rd Place, Shawn Randazzo from Cloverleaf Pizza in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Judges for the contest included Scott VanDuzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta; Antonio Swad, founder of Pizza Patron; Jon Porter, owner and operator of Chicago Pizza Tours; and Paul Russo, founder and CEO of NYPD Pizzeria.

Winners for the U.S. Pizza Team Trials include Fastest Box Folding: 1st Place, Jamie Culliton from Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Ft. Myers, Florida. Fastest Pizza Maker: 1st Place, Ryan Kubil from Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; 2nd Place, Dave Sommers from Mad Mushroom in West Lafayette, Indiana; 3rd Place, Jamie Culliton. Largest Dough Stretch: 1st Place, Wilhelm Rodriguez from Papa’s Pizza in San Juan, Puerto Rico; 2nd Place, Bradley Johnson from Mellow Mushroom in Chattanooga,
Tennessee; 3rd Place, Ryan Kubil. Freestyle Acrobatics: 1st Place, Jamie Culliton; 2nd Place, Bradley Johnson; 3rd Place, Giorgio Giove from Brothers Pizza in Staten Island, New York. Judges for the contest included Matt McClellan, owner of Tour de Pizza; Jason Samosky, owner of Samosky’s Pizza; and Sam Niemeier, an experienced dough spinner from the U.S. Pizza Team youth division.

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