Sloopy’s Sports Café wins big at the NEGPT!

Fresh from a break in competing, Brad Corbin returns to prove he’s still a champion

1st place, Brad Corbin, Sloopy’s Sports Cafe, Lakeside, OH.

Valley City, OH. – Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria was the deciding grounds for the 2017 U.S. Pizza Team Gourmet Pizza Trials. USPT members Jason Samosky and Michael LaMarca took the reins again for the second annual regional event in the Northeast. Twenty pizza chefs from across the country amassed to Valley City, Oh. to see who would claim the right of best gourmet pizza in the U.S.A., and fight for their chance to win a trip to the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy in 2018.

Out of 20 competitors, only three would emerge victorious. First place, and the grand prize of a trip to Italy, went to Bradley Corbin of Sloopy’s Sports Café in Lakeside, OH. Bradley wowed the judges and onlookers with a Detroit Style crust, topped with mozzarella and Wisconsin brick cheeses, followed by seasoned ground beef and fried rice. After baking, the pie was topped with fried onions, carrots, cilantro, scallions, Korean BBQ sauce and tuxedo sesame seeds giving the pie that exotic flavor served on a familiar canvas.

2nd place, Tore Trupiano, Dominic’s Italian Restaurant, Oceanside, CA.

Second place was grabbed by Tore Trupiano of Dominic’s Italian Restaurant in Oceanside, CA. with a pie named the “Cali Peach”. This pie was topped with a house made bourbon peach BBQ sauce and a 4-cheese blend consisting of whole milk mozzarella, Danish gouda, Applewood-smoked gouda and Muenster cheeses. Baked, herb-crusted, skin-on pork belly, avocado wood-smoked pork shoulder, and red onions caramelized with brown sugar and bourbon rounded out the flavors. It was finished after the bake with Asian micro-greens tossed in a peach nectar/pecan vinaigrette and paired with a San Diego favorite, Mission Brewery Amber Ale.

Third place went to Giovanni Labbate of Brick’s Wood Fired Pizza Café in West Dundee, Ill. for his “Jammin’ with Pappa” pie, a Neapolitan pizza, with crust made from Sogno Toscano “00” Flour. Based withgarlic-infused olive oil, the pie was also topped with Crema Di Pecorino, peppadew peppers, bacon jam, Grande mozzarella & provolone cheeses, red onions, cup & char pepperoni, a drizzle of honey, oregano and basil.

3rd Place, Giovanni Labbate, Brick’s Wood Fired Pizza Café, West Dundee, Ill.

“These 20 competitors have been some of best talent yet assembled at one of our competitions.” noted LaMarca. “And the quality of the pies made today was spectacular.” After winning, 2 time U.S. Pizza Team Trials winner Corbin stated “I’m on cloud 9 right now. This has been the best week of my life.”

Other competitors in this event included Mike Russo (Russo’s Place, Cleveland, Ohio); Sean Dempsey (Dempsey’s, Watertown, S.D.); Bradley Johnson (Mellow Mushroom, Chattanooga, Tenn.); Tony Scalia (Two Brother’s, Ravenna, Ohio); David Sommers (Mad Mushroom, West Lafayette, Ind.); Rick Wheeler (Mad Mushroom, Lafayette, Ind.); Kyle Rosch (Brenz Pizza Co., Chapel Hill, N.C.); Peter Anderson (Gelsosomo’s, Crown Point, Ind.); Eric Von Hansen ( Caliente Pizza and Draft House, Pittsburgh, Pa.); Lenny Rago (Panino’s Pizza, Evanston, Ill.); Bruno Brunetti (Panino’s Pizza, Chicago, Ill.); Anthony Gordon (Casa Ristoranti Italiano, Ft. Wayne, Ind.); Al Tholen (Casa Ristoranti Italiano, Ft. Wayne, Ind.); John Zozzaro ( Downtown Café and Pizzeria, Glen Cove, N.Y.); Will Shaw ( SOL Pie Pizza, North Canton, Ohio); Alan Frank ( SOL Pie Pizza, North Canton, Ohio); Patrick Maggi (Maggi’s Pizza, Damascus, Md.);

The Northeast Gourmet Pizza Trials were sponsored by Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria, Master Pizza and Sysco Foods. For more information about this event or the U.S. Pizza Team, contact Brian Hernandez at 662-234-5481 x 129,, or visit

Brian Hernandez

Brian Hernandez