5 pizza ideas from the Chef of the Year competitions




Looking for inspiration to shake up your pizzeria’s menu? Our creative, passionate and cutting-edge Chef of the Year competitors deliver! Here are five pizza concepts from the Canadian Pizza Show that will ignite your taste buds and fire up your imagination! Mateusz Rzeszutek of Queen Margherita Pizza in Toronto baked his way to third place with this complex pie. It featured whipped ricotta and a white balsamic vinaigrette made of Dijon mustard, red onions, canola oil, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt. The dough consists of Kamut flour, “00” flour, salt, water and yeast. The pie was topped with kale, fried chilis, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan. Richard Anger, manager and head chef of Buoys Eatery in Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ont., used an olive oil base made from scratch on Buoys’ regular pizza crust. To this he added chicken, red onions, bacon, tomato, mozzarella and topped it off with Parmesan. Richard: “Our menu expresses who we are and what we love. Fresh food cooked exceptionally well. I strive to make the best hand-crafted pizza out there. I’m always testing the boundaries of dough and different combinations to find the next best pizza. That’s the charm of pizza: it can be everything and anything.” Dean Litster, corporate chef at Armando’s Pizza in Windsor, Ont., said he wanted to make something more traditional than he had in previous competitions but still a little outside the box. His Sicilian style deep-dish purple potato pizza featured provolone cheese, caramelized cipollini onions and prosciuttini. Dean: “I found that perfect balance with the purple potato pizza: working along the lines of a traditional potato pizza but adding my flair to it, the fresh herbs, the purple potato, the Italian Gorgonzola and the pickled bird’s eye chilis.” Marco Zambri, owner of Slopes of Vesuvius Mobile Pizzeria in Uxbridge, Ont., created an innovative pie using cured pork cheek, known as guanciale in Italian. It featured San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte mozzarella, fresh basil and grated pecorino cheese. Marco: “Less is definitely more when it comes to pizza when it’s done the way it was meant to be.” Roberto Vergalito, owner of Roberto’s Pizza Passion in St. Catharines, Ont. – and known by many as “The Pizza Dude” – whipped up one of his hottest-selling pizzas. La Molisana is a truffle pizza named for the truffles found in the Molise region of Italy. It is a Neapolitan thin-crust pizza topped with black truffle paste, mozzarella cheese, oyster mushrooms, dabs of fior di latte mozzarella, fresh parsley and a drizzle of black truffle oil. Roberto: “Truffle is a type of mushroom found in the ground. There are two types of truffle: black and white. Black truffle is more commonly found whereas white truffle is more difficult to find and can cost $6,000 per kilogram. With its distinctive taste, the truffle is becoming a very hot menu item in various restaurants around the world.”