USPT Release 2014

For Immediate Release                                                                            Brian Hernandez

U.S. Pizza Team Coordinator

662-234-5481 x129


US PizzaTeam Wins Big in Italy

USPT places in the World Pizza Championships


PARMA, Italy — The US Pizza Team had a strong showing at the 23rd Annual World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy April 7-9, 2014.


The US Pizza Team represented the United States with 17 competitors this year, the largest team assembled in recent history.


Jamie Culliton of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Florida was named second in the freestyle acrobatics out of the top six competing in the world in the finals. This is Culliton’s third time in the finals and 11th competition at the World Pizza Championships. Dave Sommers of Mad Mushroom in Indiana placed fifth in the world for the largest dough stretch. Jane Mines of Nima’s Pizza placed in the top 20 for the pizza on a peel culinary competition. Mines along with husband Rick Mines also placed in the top 20 for the pizza for two culinary competition along with Sommers of Mad Mushroom and Michael Stevens of Palo Mesa Pizza in California. Heather Zook of Sinfully Gluten-Free in Ohio placed 21st in the world in the gluten-free competition. Stevens was also the top ranking American in the pizza classica competition ranking in the top 100 competitors.


The World Pizza Championships bring hundreds of competitors from over 30 Parma countries every year to the food valley of Italy to compete for the title of best in the world in 10 categories of competition.


More than 600 competitors faced by an international jury, composed of more than 30 judges.


More than 30 countries were represented in Parma, and among the most numerous team, the US Pizza Team had 30 competitors.


The winner, among 600 competitors, is Giulio Sciarpi, Pizzeria “Barsetum” from Putignano with his “Pizza Contadina” (country pizza) (mozzarella stracciatella, local sauté eggplant, caciocavallo cheese, bread crumbs with anchovies and burrata).


Second place  Diego Segato, Pizzeria Rocca D’asolo from S.Vito di Altivole (Treviso) with his “Primavera asolana” pizza (Springtime in Asolo Pizza) (San Marzano dop tomatoes, organic mozzarella, white asparagus, hops florets, bacon, tomatoes confit and parmigiano flakes).


Third Place Davide Bianchi, Pizzeria S.Ampelio from Bordighera/Imperia with his “Bordighera Monet” pizza (tomato sauce, fiordilatte mozzarella, swordfish slices marinated in Extravergin olive oil, lemon, pink pepper, champagne, cherry tomatoes, parmigiano reggiano, arugola and tagghiache olives)


The U.S. Pizza Team consists of expert pizza makers and dough-spinning acrobatic performers from pizza restaurants across the United States. The squad won the Team Acrobatics World Championship in Salsomaggiore, Italy, in 2011.


On the team this year are: Leah Scurto and Tim Silva of Pizza My Heart, Rick and Jane Mines of Nima’s Pizza, Jason Samosky of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria, Leonardo Giordano of Mona Lisa Pizza, Shawn and Emily Dugan of Shorty’s Pizzeria, Dave Sommers of Mad Mushroom Pizza, Michael Stevens of Palo Mesa Pizza, Bradley Johnson of Mellow Mushroom, Michael LaMarca of Master’s Pizza, Jamie Culliton of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Gino Rago of Panino’s Pizzeria, Vic DiOrio of DiOrio’s, Greg Spaulding of Puccini’s Smiling Teeth and Heather Zook of Sinfully Gluten Free.


The US Pizza Team is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board, Gordon Food Services, LaNova, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, Bag Solutions, Fonntannini Meats, Lillsun, Marsal and Sons, Pendelton Flour, Univex, PizzaInsurance and Presto Foods.


The World Pizza Championships were streamed live at and Media footage is available at including photos and videos.



PMQ Pizza Magazine, the leading national trade publication for the pizza restaurant industry, created the U.S. Pizza Team in 2000.




Aaron Harris

Aaron Harris