Caliente Managers Bring Home Awards From Mid-America Pizza Expo

Pizza rules. When you talk about beer’s biggest complement, it’s hard to look any further than this circular sphere of awesomeness. The sauce, the dough, the cheese, the toppings…all of it comes together to form one beautiful, happy relationship that delights the senses and fills up the belly. Whether thick crust, thin crust, or pan, whether grilled or baked in a traditional oven or wood-fire oven, there’s a style for everyone to love. No wonder homes across America have pizza night once or twice a week.

Caliente Pizza & Draft HouseIf you think my aforementioned love affair with pizza is strong, you should check out our friends at Caliente Pizza & Draft House. Pizza is their passion. Pizza is their life. Their dedication to not only lining up tremendous craft beer options, but some of the best pies in Pittsburgh, has helped them expand to three locations: their original spot in Bloomfield, Hampton Township, and Mount Lebanon. Simply put, this means three areas of Pittsburgh are blessed with the world’s best pizza. I mean that literally. Caliente Pizza Chef Eric Von Hansen captured the honor of Best Pan Pizza In the World at the 2016 International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas!

To paraphrase South Park: If you french fry when you’re supposed to Caliente pizza, you’re not going to have a good time.

Last month, the pizza making crew from Caliente was once again on a mission to bring home some hardware; this time, they took their talents to Columbus, Ohio for the Mid-America Restaurant Expo. After the final shred of cheese had melted, three members of the team brought home awards and continued to add more prestige to the Caliente brand.

Congratulations to Josh Jimerson, Matt Hickey, and Scott Simpson for representing and earning recognition!

You can check out the press release below and discover how things unfolded.

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Three Caliente Pizza Makers win awards at Mid-America Restaurant Expo
Josh Jimerson win’s 2nd place for fastest pizza stretch, Matt Hickey wins 3rd place for largest dough stretch and Scott Simpson Wins 3rd Place for fastest pizza box folding

January 30th, 2017

Columbus, Ohio – Caliente Pizza & Draft House, with three locations at 4624 Liberty Ave in Bloomfield, 4706 William Flynn Hwy in Allison Park, and 329 Castle Shannon Blvd in Mt. Lebanon, recently took part in the Mid-America Restaurant Expo in Columbus, Ohio and three of their Managers won prizes. The U.S. Pizza Team held their annual Winter Athletic Events as part of the Expo, featuring pizza athletes from around the region. The turnout was better than expected and featured faces new and old to the competition.

The Caliente Managers competed in three separate events: Largest Dough Stretch, Fastest Pie Maker, and Fastest Box Folder. The competition drew 15 competitors from all corners of Ohio and beyond.

The Fastest Pie Maker event led things off, requiring the competitors to slap out 5-10 oz. pizza doughs and place them on a 10″ screen as fast as possible. First place was taken by first-time competitor Landon Butler of 600 Downtown in Bellefontaine, OH. A close second was Josh Jimerson from Caliente Pizza & Draft House in Pittsburgh, PA, with long-time U.S. Pizza Team member Ryan LaRose of Leone’s Pizza in Columbus rounding out the group in 3rd.

Next up was Largest Dough Stretch, where each pizza athlete must stretch out an 18 oz. dough ball as big as possible in 5 minutes. Once again, Landon Butler claimed the first place medal. Second place went to Ryan LaRose and 3rd place was scooped up by new competitor Matt Hickey of Caliente. The top three scores were within one inch of each other!

The final event was Fastest Box Folder. Each competitor has to fold 5-14″ boxes as fast as they can. First place went to Ashley Parthemore of Michael Angelo’s Pizza in Rushylvania, OH. Ashley has competed in several USPT events in the past. 2nd and 3rd were taken by first time competitors Tiffany Westfall of 600 Downtown and Scott Simpson of Caliente Pizza & Draft House, respectively.

Caliente Pizza & Draft House opened in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh in September 2012. Owners Nick & Angie Bogacz have since expanded to Allison Park and Mount Lebanon.

“Our Team has been practicing hard for the competitions and our everyday grind prepares them,” Nick Bogacz said. “They were excited to compete. I could not be any more proud of our team and the company we are becoming.”

About Caliente

Caliente Pizza & Draft House is Pittsburgh’s premier spot for award-winning pizza and wings. Caliente is proud to support the craft beer revolution in Pittsburgh and features local and hard-to-find beer from around the world. They pride themselves on using fresh and locally-sourced ingredients and have dubbed themselves “The Pizza of Champions.” Caliente’s pizza dough and sauce is prepared daily from scratch. All meats and vegetables are hand-sliced.

More information about Caliente Pizza & Draft House can be found by visiting pizzadrafthouse.com.

About the U.S. Pizza Team

PMQ Pizza Magazine, the business trade publication for the pizza restaurant industry, created the Group U.S. Pizza Team in 2000. The team is sponsored by Grain Craft, California Milk Advisory Board, Gordon Food Service, Sofo Foods, LaNova, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, Bag Solutions, Fontanini Meats, Lillsun, Marsal and Sons, Univex, and Presto Foods.

Approximately 90 keynote addresses, seminars, panel discussions and pizzeria menu demonstrations take place during the Expo. More information: pmq.com

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Jason Cercone

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