Aussie pizza tops Global Pizza Challenge

Simon Best of Augello’s in Mooloolaba, Queensland is the inaugural winner and Grand Champion of the Fonterra Foodservices Global Pizza Challenge.

Competing against chefs from South Africa, USA, Italy, Vietnam and Austria, Simon won the judges over with his hot smoked salmon pizza with salmon pearls, Perfect Italiano mozzarella and Riverina Fresh natural yoghurt.

Glenn Austin, Head Judge of the Fonterra Foodservices Global Pizza Challenge said the calibre of entrants was extremely high, as was the level of creativity.

“I was impressed with the range of ideas and could see a clear, emerging trend in the pizza industry which will become more apparent over the next few months,” he said.

“Simon’s pizza demonstrates how a few ingredients can pack a fantastic taste experience; pizza provides a high quality dining experience.”

Mr Austin was joined on the judging panel by Arnold Tanzer, a fellow Director of the World Association of Chefs Society, and acclaimed Australian pizza chef and author, John Lanzafame.

The Fonterra Foodservices Global Pizza Challenge required chefs to create and submit their own unique pizza recipe. The judges then selected the best from each country who participated in local heats to determine the person to go forward to the international final.

Each country winner then refined their recipe and cooked their pizza at the Fonterra Foodservices Global Pizza Challenge Grand Final on Saturday 14 May in the heartland of Australian pizza making: Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne. This dynamic art saw dough tossed, ingredients sliced and flavours added to ultimately create the best pizza in the world.

“The Australian leg really saw things heat up in the kitchen,” Mr Austin said.”Pizza makers were competing across various categories: meat, vegetarian, seafood and dessert, and just when we thought we had a clear winner, we ended up with two people in equal first place.

“Both chefs went forward to the Grand Final, however there can only be one overall winner, and I am proud that an Australian is the inaugural recipient of this honour.”

Simon’s winning pizza will now feature on Pizza Capers’ menu for two months, with a portion of proceeds going to the McGrath Foundation.

The Fonterra Foodservices Global Pizza Challenge was proudly supported by Perfect Italiano, Riverina Fresh natural yoghurt, Huon Salmon, Mission Wraps, Williams and Spiral.

Pizza Fast Facts:
· Global pizza sales are in excess of $44 billion per year
· Pizza is the fourth most craved food behind chocolate, ice-cream and cheese
· Australians eat approximately 10 hectares of pizza annually
· There are over 124 million references to pizza on Google
· There are more than 60,000 pizza books referenced on
· The average Australian eats pizza once a month totalling over 264 million pizzas a year
· Pizza is the most popular eaten style of food
· There are over 3500 independent pizza shops and 3,000 chain pizza shops in Australia
· Pizza is the fastest growing food trend in the Asia Pacific.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
by author: 
Isobel Drake