- Regardless of warnings from the Climate Channel to remain house, pizza professionals packed the exhibit corridor on the inaugural Pizza Tomorrow Summit, held November 9-10 in Orlando.
- “The thrill for this new occasion was palpable, and we achieved our aim of letting the trade know that we have been going to do issues proper,” stated occasion producer Glenn Celentano.
Story by Rick Hynum and Jeri Glyn | Pictures by Dana Niemeier
When a hurricane blows by means of throughout the launch of a brand new pizza trade commerce present, you may assume it’s a nasty omen. For the Pizza Tomorrow Summit, held November 9-10 in Orlando, it was the precise reverse. Regardless of airport shutdowns and nasty climate, the inaugural occasion proved to be an enormous success with pizzeria homeowners and exhibitors alike.
Or, as Bruno Zacchini, proprietor of Pizza Bruno in Orlando, put it, “Even throughout a hurricane, pizza prevails!”
Though many pre-registered attendees couldn’t make it on account of weather-canceled flights, the primary day of the Pizza Tomorrow Summit nonetheless attracted a big crowd of pizzeria homeowners desperate to scout out the most recent trade merchandise in addition to main suppliers—assume Grande Cheese, Sysco, Fiero Group, Bellissimo, Galbani, BelGioiso, and Liguria Meals—blissful to promote to them.
“If you happen to advised me that Orlando can be underneath a hurricane warning and we might nonetheless have packed aisles on day 1 despite it, I might have requested you to guess me—and you’d have gained!” stated Glenn Celentano of Grand Slam Occasions, producer of the occasion. “All the information shops have been telling individuals to remain house, the Climate Channel had even arrange store in Florida, and other people nonetheless stuffed the exhibit corridor. It was nothing in need of unbelievable.”
Billy Manzo, proprietor of Federal Hill Pizza in Warren, Rhode Island, led a dough-making demo and an academic seminar on the occasion. “This was probably the most direct conversational present with distributors that I’ve seen in a very long time,” he stated. “Out of all my private sponsors that backed me and truly participated on the present, 10 out of 10 have been elated with the turnout, and all of them dedicated to 2023 already.”
The present went equally nicely for Lactalis Culinary, which owns the Galbani Professionale model of Italian cheeses, famous John Canonico Jr., East Zone supervisor for Lactalis Culinary. “The discussions we had with the attendees that got here to our sales space have been extraordinarily optimistic, and now we have lots of upcoming conferences that can proceed to develop the Galbani model within the Southeast,” Canonico stated. “I’m wanting ahead to the present subsequent yr!”
Along with the packed exhibit corridor, the Pizza Tomorrow Summit featured 18 instructional periods protecting subjects starting from maximizing pizzeria earnings and creating moneymaking menus to the highest know-how developments and the fast-growing vegan pizza motion. “The customers on the present requested me a number of the deepest questions concerning the science of pizza that made me insanely excited to be sharing my experience with them,” Manzo famous.
Alex Koons, proprietor of Sizzling Tongue Pizza, made the journey all the best way from Los Angeles and was glad he did. “The Pizza Tomorrow Summit was a blast,” he stated. “It was an ideal present to be taught from, develop at and develop concepts and friendships by means of….[It was] an enlightening expertise throughout. I can’t look ahead to subsequent yr.”
Chef Luca Donofrio agreed. “There’s no higher feeling than to congregate with lots of individuals whose sole occupation it’s to make and serve good meals. The one higher feeling is to point out them what superior flour can do for them, and that’s why we introduced down Molino Pasini. Despite a hurricane, we got here, we noticed, we made some ravioli.”
Guide David “Rev” Ciancio of Branded Hospitality Ventures, who led seminars on the occasion, stated the Pizza Tomorrow Summit was “an awesome place for operators to develop, be taught and up-level their companies. I deeply appreciated their concentrate on training as did the operators who attended.”
The occasion additionally featured the Galbani Professionale Pizza Cup, a high-powered pizza-making competitors, and the U.S. Pizza Group Acrobatic Finals, a pizza acrobatics spin-off. Jose Flores of Crust Lovers Pizza, situated in Sanford, Florida, emerged because the culinary champ within the Galbani Professionale Pizza Cup, whereas McKenna Carney of The Nona Slice Home in Security Harbor, Florida, claimed the title of 2022 USPT Acrobatics Champion and the possibility to compete within the World Pizza Championship subsequent yr in Parma, Italy.
Celentano and his staff are already planning the subsequent Pizza Tomorrow Summit, which has been set for November 8-9, 2023, in Orlando.
“The thrill for this new occasion was palpable, and we achieved our aim of letting the trade know that we have been going to do issues proper and make this extra of an immersive expertise than an on a regular basis commerce present,” Celentano stated. “The purple carpet entrance, dwell music, T-shirt giveaways, on-the-floor training, meals truck showroom, competitions, and demos have been a house run, and we’re simply getting began! Wait till you see what now we have cooking for yr two!”