Member Profiles

U.S. Pizza Team Council

Brian Hernandez – U.S. Pizza Team, Oxford, MS
U.S.P.T. Director
Brian came on board in October of 2011 and has Read More
Brian Hernandez – U.S. Pizza Team, Oxford, MSU.S.P.T. Director

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 Johnson – Mellow Mushroom, Chattanooga, TN
Acrobatic/Culinary Member
Bradley has been on the team since 2009. He is Read More
Bradley Johnson – Mellow Mushroom, Chattanooga, TNAcrobatic/Culinary Member

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 – Mad Mushroom, West Lafayette, IN
Acrobatic/Culinary Member
Dave Sommers is the owner of 2 Mad Mushrooms in Read More
Dave Sommers – Mad Mushroom, West Lafayette, INAcrobatic/Culinary Member

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 Culliton – Acrobatic Coach
Acrobatic/Culinary Member
Jamie is a corporate trainer for a large national franchise. Read More
Jamie Culliton – Acrobatic CoachAcrobatic/Culinary Member

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.

Gino Rago – Panino’s Pizza, Chicago, IL
Culinary Member
I have a passion for all styles of pizza. I Read More
Gino Rago – Panino’s Pizza, Chicago, ILCulinary Member

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 LaMarca – Master Pizza, Cleveland, OH
Culinary Member
Michael P. LaMarca is the owner of the Master Pizza Read More
Michael LaMarca – Master Pizza, Cleveland, OHCulinary Member

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”.

Jason Samosky – Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria, Valley City, OH
Culinary Member
I am Jason Samosky, proud owner of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria Read More
Jason Samosky – Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria, Valley City, OHCulinary Member

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”

Bradley Corbin – Sloopy’s Pizza, Lakeside, OH
Culinary Member
Brad Corbin, Owner of Sloopy’s Sports Cafe, Lakeside, OH & Read More
Bradley Corbin – Sloopy’s Pizza, Lakeside, OHCulinary Member

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

Leonardo Rago – Panino’s Pizzeria, Evanston, IL
Culinary Member
</div? Started in the pizza business at age 14, Love Read More
Leonardo Rago – Panino’s Pizzeria, Evanston, ILCulinary Member

</div?

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.

Premiere Members

Culinary Member
Rick Mines – Nima’s Pizza and More, Gassville, ARCulinary Member
Culinary Member
Jane Mines – Nima’s Pizza and More, Gassville, ARCulinary Member
Culinary Member
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 ...Read More
Chris Mallon – Houdini Pie, Nashville, TNCulinary Member

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.

Culinary Member
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 ...Read More
Leonardo Giordano – Mona Lisa Pizza, Staten Island, NYCulinary Member

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.

Culinary Member
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 ...Read More
Leah Scurto – Pizza My Heart, Santa Cruz, CACulinary Member

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”.

Culinary Member, Gluten-Free
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 ...Read More
Heather Zook – Sinfully Gluten Free, Dayton, OHCulinary Member, Gluten-Free

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.

Culinary Member
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 ...Read More
Ali Haider – 786 Degrees, Sun Valley, CACulinary Member

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 .

Acrobatics Member
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 ...Read More
Rick Wheeler – Mad Mushroom, Lafayette, INAcrobatics Member

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!

Culinary Member
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 ...Read More
Tim Silva – Pizza My Heart, Santa Cruz, CACulinary Member

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.

Black Coat
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 ...Read More
Michael Stevens – Palo Mesa Pizza, Arroyo Grande, CA.Black Coat

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.

Culinary
Bruno Brunetti – Panino’s Pizza, Chicago, IL.Culinary
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 ...Read More
Dan Uccello, Flo’s Pizzeria, Grand Rapids, MI.

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”

In Dan’s first ever personal competition, he competed in the 2017 World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy against 800 of the best pizzaiolos int he world. Dan competed with a Wood fired pizza with Fig preserves, Asiago cheese, Gorgonzola, Fresh mozzarella, Prosciutto, Arugula, flaked Parmesan, and balsamic reduction drizzle.
 
This pie won the Best in the U.S. at the World competition, but also placing 52nd out of 450+ competitors globally  in his category of Classica Pizza. This achievement earned him a spot as a USPT Premiere Member.
 
 
 

Competing Members

Affiliate Members