Recap: Pizza Palooza – National Harbor, MD
The problem with the typical “Pizza Fest” type of event is that no matter how much talent the participating pizzamakers possess, their best pies suffer in cardboard boxes when transported en masse from the pizzeria to the pizza event location.
I had a great time at the South Philly Pizza Olympics in 2012, but the pies were less than ideal because of the minutes and hours spent sweating in cardboard, losing not only the oven heat but the crisp texture that makes an ideal crust. The easy winner of that event was Nomad Pizza, largely because they were the only ones baking pies on site (from the wood-fired Neapolitan oven on a mobile pizza truck).
I was excited to attend the “Pizza Palooza” event at the MGM Hotel/Casino in National Harbor MD (on the banks above the Potomac, minutes outside of Washington DC), mostly because of the celebrity pizzaioli in the lineup. Tickets, with taxes and fees, came to about $115 for this all you can eat, all you can drink event.
|View of Potomac from MGM rooftop deck|
What made it irresistible – even at that price – was the pizza royalty there. I finally got to meet Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours, where he was doing a lot of the work helping John Arena craft the Sicilian pies by Metro Pizza. For the record, he’s a wonderful guy with genuine passion for pizza.
|John Arena, Scott Wiener, Pizza Quixote|
Other pie makers (not a complete list) :