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California Milk Advisory Board Selects Finalists for 6th Annual Real California Pizza Contest; Mike Gallagher Comments

California Milk Advisory Board Selects Finalists for 6th Annual Real California Pizza Contest; Mike Gallagher Comments


TRACY, CA
Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

It was just a couple of months ago when the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) announced that The Grove will showcase pizza styles created by CIA alumni and guest chefs. Now, CMAB is leaning even further into the pizza space, announcing the eight chef finalists in the 2024 Real California Pizza Contest (RCPC).

Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant, California Milk Advisory Board“Each year we evolve the Real California Pizza Contest to keep up with the creativity of the pizza community. The two new main categories, Protein and Produce, allow unlimited opportunities to explore with our California cow’s milk cheeses. We’re also excited about the three-cheese team competition, which will add a little drama to the bake-off event with competitors collaborating to present their very best version of this simple yet ultimately marketable pie,” said Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant.

This is the sixth search for the best foodservice pizza recipes showcasing innovative uses of Real California cow’s milk cheeses. At stake is a $28,500 prize pool and the prestige of winning one of the country’s most coveted pizza competitions, a press release stated.

The finalists for the 2024 Real California Pizza Contest are:

Protein Category

  • Eddie Stalewski, Mercurio’s, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jose Valverde, Zorba’s Pizza, Millbrae, CA
  • Leith Leiser-Miller, Psychic Pie, Sebastopol, CA
  • Jay Falk, Caliente Pizza & Draft House, Pittsburgh, PA

Produce Category

  • Michael Vakneen, Truly Pizza, Dana Point, CA
  • Doug Dellaccio, Wayfarer Bread, La Jolla, CA
  • Constantino Anezinos, Zorba’s Pizza, Millbrae, CA
  • Ray Cullison, Charlie's Pizzeria, Kingman, AZ

The California Milk Advisory Board announced the eight chef finalists in the 2024 Real California Pizza ContestThe finalists will come together on August 7, 2024, at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa, California, to compete in a live bake-off event. The winners in each category will receive $7,500. A new addition to the 2024 event is a special Three-Cheese Pizza competition where all eight finalists will be paired to compete for an additional $7,500 in prizes. The remaining finalists will each take home $750 for participating.

A panel of pizza experts will be judging, including Tony Gemignani, Glenn Cybulski, and Bill Crawford. The judges chose the eight finalists from more than 180 recipe entries from throughout the United States.

Best of luck to the competitors!

California Milk Advisory Board
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