PITTSBURGH, Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Caliente Pizza & Draft House, a Pittsburgh-based restaurant known for its internationally acclaimed pies and extensive craft beer list, is rapidly growing in global recognition after collecting numerous accolades in 2019.
Locally owned and operated by founders Nick and Angie Bogacz, Caliente sent its team across the United States and Europe this year to participate in the industry's biggest competitions.
Best Pizza in America According to Italy, Pittsburgh has the Best Pizza in America. In April, Caliente's Regional Chef Eric Von Hansen traveled to Parma, Italy, to compete against 42 countries in "Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza," widely known as the World Pizza Championship, and won.
His creation? The Mee-Maw — a pie named after his mother and grandmother. Von Hansen used a five-day fermented dough spread into a pan and topped with olive oil, five-year aged parmesan, market local rapini cooked with peppered bacon, shallots, garlic, onion, crushed plum tomato, porchetta, shaved black truffle pecorino Romano, salt, pepper and more aged parmesan. He wowed the judges with an overall score of 772 out of 900 and was the only American competitor to take home any prize.
World Pizza Team Caliente's international pizza crew caught the attention of 13-time World Champion and pizza entrepreneur Tony Gemignani, who invited Bogacz and Von Hansen to join an "all-star" team of internationally well-known pizza chefs.
The World Pizza Champions team, founded in 2005 by Gemignani, is an international group of elite pizzaioli who represent the craft through competition, education and community service. Inclusion on the team is by invitation only, and Bogacz and Von Hansen are the only representatives from Pittsburgh.
"Nick and Eric are dedicated to the craft of pizza in every way, from their development of innovative recipes to their commitment to community service," said Gemignani. "The World Pizza Champions are the best of the best, and that's what these guys are."
2019 Travels and Awards "One team. One dream." That's the motto of the Caliente team, who traveled domestically and internationally this year to six competitions.
Complete list of Caliente's 2019 awards:
Best Pizza in America 2019 (World Pizza Championship)
New York Style – Third place (Trofeo Caputo)
Non-Traditional division – Top 10 (International Pizza Expo)
Pan division – Top 10 (International Pizza Expo)
Largest Dough Stretch – Bronze medal (International Pizza Expo)
Freestyle Acrobatic Pizza Tossing – Top 10 (International Pizza Expo)
Fastest Dough Stretch – Top 10 (International Pizza Expo)
Pizza Triathlon – Top 10 (International Pizza Expo)
With the success of his book and podcast, Bogacz continues to grow in notoriety for his marketing, business and team-building prowess and is frequently invited to speak at top industry events. This past year, he gave the keynote speech at the 2019 Pizza and Pasta Expo. He also spoke at the Mid-America Restaurant Expo and the International Pizza Expo.
ABOUT CALIENTE PIZZA & DRAFT HOUSE
Caliente Pizza & Draft House is an award-winning, locally owned and operated pizza restaurant known for its roster of gourmet pizzas and craft beers. With five locations in the Pittsburgh area, Caliente is also known internationally as three-time World Pizza Champions and represents Pittsburgh on the World Pizza Champions Team. In 2019, Caliente Pizza & Draft House earned the title of Best Pizza in America. For locations and more information, visit www.pizzadrafthouse.com.