News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Food News

News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Other


United States Pizza Team puts on show at Javits Center

United States Pizza Team puts on show at Javits Center

Bill Egbert | New York Daily News

Dough flew high and far at the Javits Center on Sunday as members of the United States Pizza Team demonstrated the extreme sport of pizza tossing.

Expert pizza flingers twirled chunks of dough behind their backs and between their knees, dazzling crowds at the 2009 International Restaurant and Foodservice Show.

The entire front row ducked when one dough spinner leaped from the stage like a rock star and tossed the pizza-to-be under his legs before he landed.

Two-time national champion Ryan LaRose and other members of the team will be heading to Italy for the Olympics of Pizza next month.

They’ll be representing America – and Brooklyn in particular.

“We’ll be rep’ing Brooklyn,” shouted Nino Coniglio, who recently opened a Brooklyn pizzeria with LaRose. “B-to-the-K, bro!”

The Olympics draws representatives from 60 countries in a contest that often features acrobatic chefs tossing dough while doing backflips or one-handed handstands.

Coniglio and LaRose, co-founders of Pizzeria Del Corso in Marine Park are passionate – some would say fanatical – about the vanishing art of old-school Brooklyn-style pizza.

“No shrimp, no chicken,” said Coniglio. “We’re hand-crushing tomatoes for the sauce. Only tomatoes from Italy – grown right under Mt. Vesuvius.”

The 24-year-old Coniglio, who has worked in pizzerias since he was 13, will have the honor of inducting his idol, Domenico DeMarco – the dean of Brooklyn-style pizza – into the Pizza Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

DeMarco, the 71-year-old artisan of DiFara’s Pizza, will be honored for his mastery of the thin crust with a plaque presented by Coniglio for his pizzeria in Midwood.

Both the U.S. Pizza Team and the Pizza Hall of Fame are sponsored by PMQ Pizza Magazine. Publisher Steve Green hailed DeMarco as “the Cal Ripken of the pizza business.”

“Dom [DeMarco] has been at his ovens every day for decades,” said Green. “He’s so picky about everything – he’ll have the place filled with customers waiting 20 minutes for him to make their pie, but he’s oblivious to all that. They’ll wait.”

© 2009, YellowBrix, Inc.