February 24, 2015

The Dish on Pizza

I love pizza. I love how each pizza shop has their own flavor. It’s like you have to go to that pizza shop because you’re craving that taste. Most of all, I love tossing pizza dough. I learned on the job. My late teens to early twenties were spent making and delivering pizza. I was first hired as a driver, and the first time I ever knocked on a stranger’s door was, well, strange, but I got used to it real quick after I got my first tip. At 18 years old, making tips was freakin’ awesome.

Work was the best: I’d take phone orders, “decorate” and cut pizzas, and plan out my driving route, ready to make that pocket skrill. Most pizza driver’s get into the business for tips, but also for the music. You can’t go a full eight-hour shift without personally-selected music ready to play in your car. Plus, there’s free pizza to eat; mostly it’s hours-old-mistake pizza, but sometimes it’s fresh-of-your-choosing pizza. Where we lose it and quit? It’s when we grow tired of hearing the cacophony of phones ringing during rush hours, folding hundreds of pizzas boxes nightly, cleaning the entire store five nights a week, and trying to get orders straight with a group of hungry drunk people over the corded telephone, while behind you at the conveyor oven, pizzas are piling up and you’re the only one in the store.

So what, pray tell, does pizza have to do with trade shows? Only the coolest food games around—World Pizza Games®! It’s like the Olympic games mixed with flair bartending, but for pizza makers—flipping and spinning pizza dough in awesome ways! Part of the International Pizza Expo (which is scheduled for March 23-26 this year in Las Vegas), this trade-only competition appears to have begun in 2005. The competition and expo isn’t open to the public, but I found this cool two-and-a-half minute video of last year’s “Freestyle Acrobatic Dough Tossing” winner’s performance. If you’ve got the time, it’s fun to watch. This guys gets cray cray at approximately 1 minute 19 seconds into the video, spinning dough like pliable frisbees around his entire body. Then, he breaks out three smaller dough “discs” and juggles!  Acrobatics and pizza...Who knew? Check out the video by clicking here.

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