Culinary and Acrobatics Pizza by USPT Member Peter Anderson of Gelsosomo's in Crown Point, Indiana.

Published on August 5th, 2022 | by Brian Hernandez

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Chicago Knows Best at Chicago US Pizza Cup

The ’22 Chicago US Pizza Cup
The National Pizza & Pasta Show
Chicago, IL., Aug. 23-24

Lenny Rago of Panino’s Pizza sweeps the competition, claiming best Deep Dish AND Tavern Style!

The U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) and the National Pizza & Pasta Show (NPPS) hosted the 2022 Chicago U.S.Pizza Cup & Acrobatic Trials (CUSPC) August 24-25 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., and the best pizzaioli and pizza acrobats from Chicago, the surrounding areas and beyond answered the call to competition.

Celebrating one of America’s favorite styles of pizza, Chicago style, competitors were asked to demonstrate their pizza prowess with both deep-dish and tavern-style submissions. A panel of local pizza celebs, operators and pizza industry vendors helped decide who has the best deep-dish and tavern style in the Windy City. On the line: a trip to take part in an international competition in 2023.

Deep Dish:
1. Lenny Rago, Panino’s Pizza, Evanston, Ill.
2. Chloe Czwerinsky, Uncle Jerry’s Pizza Company, Cary, Ill.
3. Miguel Gonzalez, Moretti Ristorante Pizzeria, Chicago

McKenna Carney wins her spot to compete in the Freestyle Acrobatic Championship Finals in Orlando

Tavern-Style:
1. Lenny Rago, Panino’s Pizza, Evanston, Ill.
2. RC Gallegos, RC’s NYC Pizza & Pasta, Houston, Tex.
3. Giovanni Labbate, Tievoli Pizza Bar, Palatine, Ill.

Overall “Best of Chicago”:
1. Lenny Rago, Panino’s Pizza, Evanston, Ill.
2. RC Gallegos, RC’s NYC Pizza & Pasta, Houston, Tex.
3. Miguel Gonzalez, Moretti Ristorante Pizzeria, Chicago

David Whisker of B.C. Pizza blasts his way to the fastest time of 48 seconds in the Fastest Pizza Maker categor

Freestyle Acrobatics Championship Semi Finals:
(Winner advances to Orlando to compete in Finals)
1. McKenna Carney, The Nona Slice House, Safety Harbor, Fla.
2. Kevin Knott, The Nona Slice House, Safety Harbor, Fla.
3. Matt Hickey, Davide Pizzeria, Pittsburgh, Penn.

Largest Dough Stretch:
1. Josh Owens, Mad Mushroom, Lafayette, Ind. – 30.81″
2. McKenna Carney – 28.88″
3. Kevin Knott – 26.75″

Fastest Pie Maker:

1. David Whisker, B.C. Pizza, Boyne City, Mich.—48.00 seconds
2. Kevin Knott – 54.22 seconds
3. Josh Owens – 59.85 seconds


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Brian Hernandez



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