A delegation of 4 Premiere USPT members traveled across the ocean to represent the United States in fierce competition at the 2016 Shanghai International Pizza Championship this November. Amongst the American pizziaolos was Jason Samosky of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria in Valley City, OH. In his first trip to the Far East, Jason did the U.S. Pizza Team proud and took home 3rd place with his now world famous Spinachi Pizza featuring garlic butter, Spinach, sausage provided by Via Pizzeria 1-2-3 in Chicago, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and feta, Asiago and mozzarella cheeses. When asked about his experience this year, Samosky remarked, “All the scores were very close. I think I came in third by just a few points. We’re all gonna have to step up our game for next year.”
Others in our illustrious delegation were Dave Sommers of Mad Mushroom in West Lafayette, IN; Michael LaMarca of Master Pizza in Cleveland, OH; and Chris Mallon of Houdini Pie in Nashville, TN. This was the second trip to the International Pizza Championship for Sommers and LaMarca, who both tied for 3rd in 2015. “I really enjoy it here in China,” says Sommers, “where once we get scored, the judges then give us immediate feedback about our pies”. First time China adventurer Chris Mallon used this as a learning experience in how to compete on a world stage. Mallo has accompanied the USPT overseas once before to the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy in 2014. “It was really fun.” states Mallon, “The people here in Shanghai seem to be really into us, they’ve been really receptive of us, they liked our pies.”
Team Captain Michael LaMarca, in his 5th time as an international ambassador of the U.S. Pizza Team competed this year with his “Fig’ged About It” pie that won him a trip to Italy in 2017 at the Midwest Culinary Trials at Panino’s Pizza in Chicago, IL.
“The people you go against here are from more far away regions of the planet, literally, than we are used to competing against.” comments LaMarca. “It’s flavors and techniques they’re used to here, and they’re combining it with flavors and techniques that we’re used to. That is what is taking this industry to a new level.”
These four intrepid pie makers are looking forward to next years International Pizza Championship, and are encouraging their fellow teammates and others to join the fun.