Groupon U.S. Pizza Team Competes in China
Mines, LaMarca and Sommers to Compete in Chinese Pizza Championship International Competition
SHANGHAI, China — Four members of The Groupon U.S. Pizza Team will be traveling to Shanghai, China, to compete in the 10th annual Chinese Pizza Championship International Competition. The acclaimed pizza chefs (called pizzaiolos) hail from Arkansas, Indiana and Ohio.
Rick and Jane Mines, co-owners of Nima’s Pizza & More in Gassville, Arkansas, have earned numerous world, U.S. and regional pizza-making titles. Those include “Best Traditional Pizza in the U.S.” in 2010 and No. 2 in the World in the traditional category in 2013. The Mines both represented the Groupon U.S. Pizza Team at last year’s World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy.
Michael P. LaMarca, owner of Master Pizza (www.masterpizza.com) in Cleveland, has represented the Groupon United States Pizza Team since 2013. LaMarca has competed twice in Italy at the World Pizza Championship and is slated to compete again at the event in Parma, Italy, in April, 2016. LaMarca is also a three-time National Champion for “Best Pizza in America” and has won several “Best Pizza in Cleveland” titles.
LaMarca’s Master Pizza has six locations in the Cleveland area. He plans to open four to five new pizzerias in 2016. Master Pizza has operated since 1955 and has been inducted into the PMQ Pizza Magazine’s Pizza Hall of Fame (www.pizzahalloffame).
David Sommers, Owner of Mad Mushroom, in West Lafayette, Indiana, has been a Gourpon US Pizza Team member since 2011. He has traveled three times with the team to Parma, Italy, representing the United States at the World Pizza Championship. Sommers has won the “Fastest Pizza Maker in the U.S.” title four times, “Largest Dough Stretch” title twice and “Fastest Box Folding” title three times. In pizza-making competition, Sommers has won “Best of the Midwest” (August 2015), earned second place in “Traditional Pizza” at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, competition (December 2014), and came in third at The Slice of Americana in Oxford, Mississippi, (July 2015). Sommers has earned more than 20 medals to date, making him one of the world’s most decorated pizzaiolos.
The Chinese Pizza Championship attracts pizzaioli from all over China and around the world every year to Shanghai to compete for the title of Best Pizza in China. This is the first time the Groupon U.S. Pizza Team has been invited to compete on the Chinese world stage.