Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tony Gemignani Wins Triple Crown

Our own, Tony Gemignani made pizza history recently, at the International Pizza Makers Challenge - 2 Mari Trofeo Internationale Pizza Per Tutti 2008. He accomplished what no other pizzaiolo has ever done: he won first place in three categories at the International Pizza Competition.

He became the winner of the Triple Crown of Pizza.

Tony who was featured in Legends of Pizza Volume 2, proved once again he is a World Pizza Champion.

Tony G. showcases a prized pizza in Italy.

I had the honor of taking him to lunch in Honolulu, a couple of years ago. I'm thinking: maybe Tony would enjoy some sushi, or Dim Sum or perhaps Korean food. I was ready to suggest we go grab a Hawaiian Plate lunch.

"What do you want to eat?" I asked.

"Pizza" he replied. "I want to eat pizza".

And that's exactly what we had for lunch. We went to Antonio's New York Style Pizza, in Kahala. And there was not much left over.

Tony recently discussed his win:

"This was one of my biggest wins... My pizzas cooked and tasted perfect. I was told this was a first time someone has ever gold medaled in 3 categories at the same competition. I spoke with Enrico Fama organizer and founder of the World Pizza Championships in Italy and he mentioned to me that he has never heard of someone doing this. I couldn't believe it, I made pizza history..."

"My oven and table skills judge was Luciano Passeri, famous for making pizzas for Pope John Paul II and is a true master in the craft.. I was a little nervous like any competitor, but I was confident and he scored me very well..." -- Tony Gemignani

Both of Gemignani's winning pizzas had a combination of Pendleton Flour from the US blended with 5 Stagioni flour from Italy, Stanislaus Tomato Products and Grande Mozzarella Cheese from the US.

Gemignani incorporated regional ingredients from Italy and the Puglia region which included - Sun Bathed Tomatoes, Marinated Zucchini, Puglia Olives, Salumi Picante, Pugliese Extra Virgin Olive Oil DOP, and specialty cheeses from the region such as Pecorino and Burrata.

World Champion Joe Carlucci also received second place in the Classic Pizza Division and Gemignani earned second place in Largest Pizza and Carlucci earned Third Place in Largest Pizza as well.

Massimo Stamerra, made the following observation:

"It was a pleasure and honor to have had the Americans participate in our competition, Trofeo dei 2 Mari in Lecce Italy, World Pizza Champions Tony Gemignani and Joe Carlucci. The pizzas that Tony presented were of premium quality, not only in taste and presentation but with the harmonization he composed his masterpiece. Fantastic!!!"

The organizers of the event where headed by Giussepe Lucia president of A.PI.Sa. Associazione Pizzaioli Salentini. Mr. Lucia is also the captain of the Salento acrobatic team which won first place at the World Pizza Championships in Salsomaggiore, Italy and The World Pizza Games in Las Vegas early this year.

Enrico Bianchini, International Pizza Judge, summed Tony's legendary victory this way:

"I have had the pleasure to judge Tony Gemignanis' pizzas in past events at Salsomaggiore, Italy. I was most impressed of the skilled way he is able to adapt to the region and compose a pizza utilizing the specific products of Puglia.. This demonstrates his expert ability as a true master in the Art of Pizza."

Another award winner from Tony G.

To unlock some of Tony's secrets, I recommend you check out the book he co-authored with Diane Morgan:

As my Grandma Grande would say:

"He's such a nicea boy. and he's Italiano, too".

And I couldn't have said it better myself.

Congratulations Tony: we're all very proud of you.

pizza on earth,

albert grande
Pizza Therapy
Legends of Pizza

1 comment:

pizzatherapy said...

Here are Tony's comments on his win:

Hey Albert thanks again for adding this to your blog. It was a big win at that..

The Puglia ingredients were great especially the Olive Oil, Cheeses, Olives, and Salami..

Lecce is a beautiful town.The ovens that we baked in were great. They were an Italian electric Deck/ brick bottom oven.. Very hot and cooked very quick..

It actually cooked my bottom of the teglia (square pan like sicilian) first rather than last.. This was a bit unusual since most ovens cook the top first.

I had to screen it to save the bottom from buring. My line/oven judge was a pizza maker for the pope..He was great..

Tough judge but scored me very very high in points so that was great. I won with Stanislaus tomato products, Pendleton Flour, and used Grande on one of my pizzas.. Whole Milk Mozz..

Funny thing about this was I don;t compete in freestyle acrobatics anymore. This was the last of the events for the competition One of the organizers said said for me to compete..

I argued a bit saying I don;t anymore but he really wanted me to do it so I guess I came out of retirement for this event and paid my 40 euros and competted..

I had about 12 guys and girls to compete against.After 2 separate rounds I ended up wininning so at the time I new I won one first place title. Then at the awards I won both baking divisions.

The guys came up to me and said aren't you glad you competed in freestyle. Now your the triple corwn winner. First time history..I guess that organizer knew that I had won both baking categories before hand that's why he pressured me to compete in Freestyle.

I owe that guy. It was a special win. My pie's were really great..but you only hope the judges think the same and usually they differ.

Not this time.