CHEF SPENCER GLENN TAKES TWO CATEGORIES AND GRAND PRIZE TO WIN $20,000 IN ANNUAL SEARCH FOR THE BEST PIZZAS USING REAL CALIFORNIA CHEESES

October
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2021

 

CMAB logo and Real California Pizza Contest 2021

Contact:

Leonard Sbrocco                                                     

The Food Connector for CMAB                            

lsbrocco@thefoodconnector.com

707.364.7292

 

Jennifer Giambroni

California Milk Advisory Board

jgiambroni@cmab.net

209.690.8244

 

CHEF SPENCER GLENN TAKES TWO CATEGORIES AND GRAND PRIZE TO WIN $20,000 IN ANNUAL SEARCH FOR THE BEST PIZZAS USING
REAL CALIFORNIA CHEESES

Chef Leah Scurto Wins $5,000 For REAL Californian Entry in 3rd Annual
Real California Pizza Contest

Napa, Calif. (October 29, 2021) – After nine chefs spent a competitive day crafting and working pizza dough, developing unique toppings and sauces, and combining innovative blends of California cheeses, on Oct. 20 the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) recognized two champions in the 2021 Real California Pizza Contest – a national search for the best pizza recipes using Real California Cheese.

The Grand Prize winner, Spencer Glenn, from Pizza My Heart in Pacific Grove, Calif. took home the top prize for his Life is Gourd pie, representing the Plant-Forward category. Inspired by a recipe shared with his late grandfather, the pizza featured a California Asiago/Romano blend, Toma and Mozzarella along with fried baby sage leaves, pomegranate arils, and pistachios.

Glenn also had the winning pizza in the Cal-Mex category. His Elote con Chorizo was a tasteful homage to traditional Mexican street corn, pairing California Oaxaca, crema, and cotija with fresh chorizo and tangy Tajin. Glenn received $5,000 for winning each category and an additional $10,000 for the grand prize distinction, for a total of $20,000.

The REAL California category winner was Chef Leah Scurto, the owner of PizzaLeah in Windsor, Calif for her innovative Nico Pie, which used multiple cheese from California to complement two quintessential Golden State produce items: artichokes and garlic. The CMAB awarded Scurto $5,000 for her winning pizza.

The seven other finalists received $500 each for reaching the bake-off finals.

“This year’s contest highlighted several top trends in foodservice,” said Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant for the CMAB. “The finalists impressed the judges with unique recipes, bold interpretations within our innovative categories, and an overarching commitment to the creative use of California dairy throughout each pizza.”

The 3rd annual Real California Pizza Contest, which was held at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia in Napa, Calif., was open to professional chefs and culinary students across the U.S.

A renowned panel of judges – Tony Gemignani, 13-time World Pizza Champion; Glenn Cybulski, certified pizzaiolo and award-winning executive chef; and Ricky Webster, founder of Rind & Wheat Bakery in Spokane, Wash. and 2020 RCPC Grand Prize Winner – presided over the contest. The judges based their scores on a variety of factors including taste, texture and the inventive use of cheeses made with Real California Milk.

“When the pizza industry is healthy, the California dairy industry is healthy,” stated John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB. “As the number one producer of milk and mozzarella, so much of our business goes into pizza, it’s important for California to advance and innovate in the pizza category.”

The full list of finalists for the 2021 Real California Pizza Contest is as follows:

Plant-Forward

  • GRAND PRIZE AND CATEGORY WINNER: Spencer Glenn, a professional chef from Pacific Grove, Calif., works at Pizza My Heart.
  • Michael Bacon, a professional chef from Aberdeen, SD, is the General Manager at Danger von Dempsey’s Pizzeria & Brewhaus.
  • Patrick Costa, a professional chef from Los Angeles, Calif., is owner of De La Nonna.
  • Lauren Katz, a professional chef from Ashburn, Va., is the executive pastry chef and recipe developer at The Difference Baker.

The REAL Californian

  • CATEGORY WINNER: Leah Scurto, a professional chef from Windsor, Calif., is the owner of PizzaLeah.
  • Cliff Buchanan, a professional chef from Bodega, Calif., is the owner of Pizza Bodega.
  • Lauren Katz, a professional chef from Ashburn, Va., is the executive pastry chef and recipe developer at The Difference Baker.  
  • Dean Nole, a professional chef from New Hartford, N.Y., is the co-owner, with his brother Jason, of Café CaNole.

Cal-Mex

  • CATEGORY WINNER: Spencer Glenn, a professional chef from Pacific Grove, Calif., works at Pizza My Heart.
  • Steven Barrantes, a professional chef from San Jose, Calif., is the owner of Slice of Homage.
  • Cliff Buchanan, a professional chef from Bodega, Calif., is the owner of Pizza Bodega.
  • Lars Smith, a professional chef from Palo Alto, Calif., is the owner of State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria.

The complete video of the bake-off finals and the awards presentation is available at: 2021 RCPC Award Presentation. Additional details on the bake-off, the pizza chef finalists and the CMAB are available at Real California Pizza Contest.

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About Real California Milk/the California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs.

The Foodservice Division of the CMAB supports foodservice operators and distributors that use Real California dairy products. The CMAB offers marketing and promotional support for foodservice operators that purchase dairy products with the Real California Milk seal, which means they are made with 100 percent milk from California’s more than 1,100 family dairy farms, using some of the most sustainable dairy practices in the nation.

For more information on sourcing cheese from California, contact the foodservice team at 209.883.6455 (MILK), businessdevelopment@cmab.net or RealCaliforniaMilk.com/Foodservice, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

 

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