’22 In Review: The Return of the Champions

With numerous in person events, television appearances, and top scores in international competition, the USPT returned to top form for the 2022 competition season. Attaining gold everywhere from Vegas to Atlantic City and even crowning a new Galbani Cup Champion along the way, the USPT is ready and energized for 2023. Follow the links below for a few highlights from the ’22 season.

Lars Smith, Cristina Aceves Smith, Dave Sommers, Giovanni Labbate, Nicholas Harper, Leah Scurto, Sean Dempsey, Michael LaMarca, James Terwilliger, Jamie Culliton, McKenna Carney, Dave Solum, Tore Trupiano

Vittoria Trupiano of Mangia E Bevi steals the show with her Roman style pizza

The ’22 Pizza Expo
Las Vegas, NV.
March 2022

The US Pizza Team began it’s year with a bang at the biggest pizza show in the USA, the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Host to the International Pizza Challenge and the World Pizza Games, USPT members old and new represented the team in numerous categories across the entire competition.


Lars Smith of State of Mind Public House focuses on the final touches for the Zucchine e Burrata

The ’22 World Pizza Championships
Parma, Italy
April 2022

The U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) jumped back into the deep end of pizza competitions with a trip to the World Pizza Championship (WPC), held April 5-7 in Parma, Italy. With a squad of 12 eager pizzaioli, the USPT tested its pizza prowess in categories including Pizza Classica, Pizza in Teglia, Pizza in Pala, Pizza Senza Glutine (Gluten-Free), Pizza a Due (pizza made by 2 pizzaioli), and STG, as well as Largest Dough Stretch, Fastest Pie Maker and the visually exhilarating Freestyle Acrobatics.

USPT members Nicholas Harper of Peace of Pie on Hartwell, USPT Dir. Brian Hernandez & Dominic Tedesco of Unique Eats clean up in Atlanta

The ’22 Pizza Cook-Off Atlanta
Atlanta, GA.
May 2022

The USPT was a force to be reckoned with at the Atlanta Pizza Cook-Off May 14th in McDonough, GA., taking 5 of the 6 finishing places in both the Italian Appetizer and Pizza categories. Using an array of delicious Galbani Professionale US cheese blends and savory meat products from Smithfield Culinary , the USPT brought their pizza passion and prowess to the Peach State!

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

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

Celebrating one of America’s favorite styles of pizza, Chicago style, competitors of the Chicago US Pizza Cup 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.




Leah Scurto’s pizza faces off against fellow teammate Ali Haider in the Pizza Champs episode

Best in Dough
Hulu Original Series
Sept.-Oct, 2022

Team Captain Michael LaMarca of Master Pizza in Cleveland, Ali Haider of 786 Degrees in Sun Valley Ca. and Leah Scurto of PIZZALEAH in Windsor Ca. all appeared on the Hulu show, Best in Dough. These 3 USPT veterans appeared in 2 separate episodes and represented the team as always, with wins!

Michael LaMarca and Ali Haider both win their $10,000 prizes with Leah Scurto coming in a very close second to Ali with a judges tiebreaker. If they’d have given us 3 episodes, we would have had 3 wins I’m sure!

Cristina Aceves Smith and her show stopping pizza at the ’22 Pizza & Pasta Northeast competition

’22 Pizza & Pasta Northeast
Atlantic City, NJ
October 2022

The USPT members showed up in mass to represent the team and sponsors at the 2022 Pizza & Pasta Norhtheast Pizza Competition in Atlantic City, NJ. Members Cristina Aceves Smith of State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria took 1st Place in Non-Traditional and the Best Roman Style AND Daniel Saccone of Saccone’s Pizza & Subs Took 1st place in the Pasta category and 6th overall in Calzones at the Pizza & Pasta Northeast competition in Atlantic City!




Jose Flore, Crust Lover’s Pizza, Sanford, Fl. – ‘2023 Galbani Professionale Champion

The ’22 Galbani Professionale US Pizza Cup & Acrobatic Trials
The Pizza Tomorrow Summit
Orlando, FL, Nov. 9-10

High winds and sideways rain could not keep pizza makers and spinners from across the continental U.S. and beyond from attending the 2022 Galbani Professionale Pizza Cup & Acrobatic Trials (GPPC), held Nov. 9-10 at the Orange County Convention Center. The inaugural Pizza Tomorrow Summit, a new trade show for the pizza restaurant industry, hosted this exhilarating event, produced by Galbani Professionale US and the U.S. Pizza Team, in search of the United States’ next pizza ambassador to the world—and the search was fruitful.


’22 Real California Pizza Contest


Brian Hernandez

Brian Hernandez