U.S. Pizza Team Council
Brian came on board in October of 2011 and has taken the team to Italy 6 times. In those 6 years, he has filled the roster of this team with quality pizzaiolos, acrobats, and lifelong friends. He loves pizza, playing guitar and singing, relaxing by a fire with a nice cigar and glass of whiskey, and all of his team members (except LaMarca).
Brian has collaborated with old and new members to create a council of the U.S. Pizza Team so the team itself has a hand in deciding the direction it will go for the betterment of the team , the team members and the industry. The team is growing steadily year after year by recruiting quality members, as well as a membership request through uspizzateam.com. All applicants are vetted through the team council before any are allowed membership to the team.
Bradley has been on the team since 2009. He is a manager at Mellow Mushroom Downtown Chattanooga and competes in Acrobatics and Culinary. He won a trip to Italy in 2013 at IBIE in Las Vegas. He placed 7th in the world in freestyle acrobatics at the 2013 World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy.
Dave Sommers is the owner of 2 Mad Mushrooms in Lafayaette and W. Lafayette, In. He competes in all the acrobatic categories, holds the records for fastest pie maker and fastest boxfolder. He also competes on the culinary side.
Jamie is a corporate trainer for a large national franchise. He competes in both Acrobatics and culinary and won second place in Freestyle Acrobatics at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy, 2014 and 2015.
I have a passion for all styles of pizza. I am proud to adhere to the standards of the old school pizzerias and the art and craft of the great pizzaiolos who started the legacy one hundred years ago.
Michael P. LaMarca is the owner of the Master Pizza franchise in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael has competed as part of the United States Pizza Team since 2013 and has been voted “Best Pizza in Cleveland” several times and won 4 national competitions for Best “Pizza in America”.
I am Jason Samosky, proud owner of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria in Valley City, OH. Since 2003, Pizza has been my passion. In 2005 I earned my first US pizza title, and to date have earned 5 US Pizza Championships. We are family owned and operated since 1910, “Four Generations Strong & Still Going”
Brad Corbin, Owner of Sloopy’s Sports Cafe, Lakeside, OH & Port Clinton OH: I’ve been in culinary for 18 years, 12 in the pizza industry. USPT member since 2012. Awards: 2012 American Pizza Championship, 2012 NAPICS “Best in the Midwest” Gourmet & Traditional, 2013 NAPICS “Best in the Midwest” Gourmet. Favorite thing to do in my spare time: hunt, fish, and travel. Favorite food other than pizza: Sushi
Started in the pizza business at age 14, Love Pizza, competing and creating new pies. When I am not making pizza, I love music, managing bands, doing PR, TV and radio promotion for popular local band’s to help relieve the stress of running a pizza place.
Chris honed his skills in the extremely competitive restaurant scene of Nashville, TN. He received 3 consecutive Reader’s Choice Wards while serving as culinary director of Nashville’s premiere pizza destination.
Chris is currently the owner of Houdini Pie, a pop up boutique pizza experience, entering the festival and catering circuit in early 2017.
Consistently drawing from his experiences as a young chef, Chris creates non-traditional competition pies that have led him to international competitions in Parma, Italy and Shanghai with the United States Pizza Team since 2014.
Leonardo (Lenny) was born and raised in Castellamare Del Golfo, Sicily.
Lenny left Sicily in 1991at age of 21 and few years later he decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts. From Sicily he brought with him a passion for simple, yet flavorful foods to his role as an Executive Chef and Pizza Chef. Best described as an Innovative and fresh to his approach as his Sicilian/ Mediterranean style of cooking. By using the freshest ingredients, Lenny gets you as close to Original Italian dining experience as you can get.
In 2001 Lenny decided to open his first place called Mona Lisa Pizzeria & Ristorante, two years later he also opened an upscale Fine Dining, San Marco Ristorante Italiano.
In April 2012 Atlantic City NJ, Lenny won the first place in Pizza Competition of the Best Pizzeria in North East America and became Official Member of US Pizza Team PMQ.
Lenny already 3 years in USPT he lives the dream of one of the Best Pizza Chef in U.S.A and the world and also to be part of the PMQ Family.
Leah lives in San Francisco Ca. She has been working with Pizza My Heart in the Bay Area for 18 years. When she is not slinging pies she enjoys skiing and sitting on the beach with a fruity cocktail with an umbrella in it.
When asked to provide this bio she merely stated, “I make pizza, it’s my job”.
Heather is the owner of Sinfully Gluten Free in Dayton, Oh., a dedicated gluten free pizzeria and bakery.Heather joined the USPT in 2013 after winning her first gluten-free competition with the team at IBIE in Las Vegas. She then joined the team on a trip to Italy to compete in the World Pizza championships in Parma, Italy. Heather has been an active member of the team ever since.
Ali Haider & wife Sayyeda Ali, proud owners of 786 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza Co. Sun Valley CA began their dream journey back in 2013. Being a huge foodie at heart Ali found his creativity outlet ,now by using different flavors of foods from around the world and presenting them in the form of world class Neapolitan wood fired pizzas His innate passion to find the best local street food led him find the right balance of local flavors with gourmet ingredients. In the will to learn from the best, this insatiable craving drove him back to the motherland of pizzas, Naples, Italy where he studied under the Master Pizzaiolos, the Artisanal craft of classic Italian cooking .
My name is Rick Wheeler and I operate out of Mad Mushroom Pizza in Lafayette Indiana. Been doing pizza for 10 years now. I love to complete in almost all categories of pizza. Favorite pizza is whatever I make!
Tim lives in Santa Cruz Ca. He has been working with Pizza My Heart in the Bay Area for 26 years. When he is not working he enjoys surfing and hanging out with his Min Pin Danny.
Owner of Palo Mesa Pizza in Arroyo Grande, CA., Michael joined the team in 2013 after winning 3rd place at the U.S. Pizza Team Culinary Trials at IBIE in Las Vegas. Michael also joined the team in Parma, Italy in 2014 to compete as a United States Pizza Ambassador at the World Pizza Championships, scoring the highest score for the team in Classico.
Dan Uccello has been a member of the USPT since 2017. Dan owns Flo’s Collection in grand rapids Michigan. Flo’s Collection is a restaurant group that owns Flo’s Pizzeria in Grand Rapids MI, Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante & Sports Bar in Belmont MI & Greenville MI, and Catering Concepts in Holland MI. Dan has been in the pizza business since the age of 12. Dan’s Company Has Competed in multiple pizza competitions, they currently hold the award for the “Best Pizza in Michigan”, “Best Pizza in Grand Rapids” and “Best Pizza in the Midwest”, and “Best Pizza in America”