Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

13 Sep 2017

Pizza Challenge 2017 winner completes Pizza Course at Accademia Pizzaioli

Mr. Alexandru Andrei Matanie has successfully completed a Pizza Course at the Accademia Pizzaioli in Portogruaro, Italy. The course took place between Friday August 25th and Monday August 28th, 2017.

The course was intensive and predominantly practical. As the theoretical part, it started off with a detailed explanation of the basic mixture of a classic pizza (flour, water, yeast, oil, salt).

In the practical part, Alex along with other students had to prepare the dough both using the direct and the indirect method (biga and poolish). As a result, Alex achieved more knowledge and speed when using equipment like: kneading machines, workbenches, blades and ovens.


At the end of the training, a certificate was issued by the Accademia Pizzaioli which holds International Quality Certifications UNI EN ISO 9001: 2008 and UNI ISO 29990: 2011.

14 Mar 2017

The Arla Malta Pizza Challenge 2017


Date: 26 – 29 May 2017

Venue: Valletta Waterfront, Malta

Participants will have 4 Pizza Categories to choose from. The more the participation the higher the chance of winning the GRAND PRIZE. The 4 categories are below:



Category 1: Pizza Classica (Friday and Saturday)PizzaChallenge2017_Challenges1

The aim of this category is to capture the classic pizza’s old-school technique, yet reinventing it in a modern interpretation. In the Pizza Classica category, we will see the following six variations:

  1. Margherita (tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella)
  1. Capricciosa (tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichoke, olives)
  1. Diavola (tomato sauce, mozzarella, spiced salami)
  1. Prosciuto e Funghi (tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms)
  1. Frutti di Mare (tomato sauce, sea food, seasonings)

6. Quattro Formaggi (mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmiggiano/grana)

The basic ingredients are essential to replicate a classic pizza. Each participant must use the basic ingredients that define a classic pizza, but can also add a personal touch. For instance, once can use mozzarella di bufala, grilled artichoke, kalamata olives, a variety of spicy salami, different species of mushrooms, fresh or frozen sea food, a variety of cheeses etc.

The participants must provide their own ingredients with the exception of the mozzarella. ARLA mozzarella will be provided by the organisers.

Participants are also allowed to add other ingredients that reflect their own tastes, culture and imagination, always keeping in mind the basic ingredients.

When it comes to the dough, each participant must make their own, using their personal choice of ingredients. Judges in this category will be looking for a modern and interesting interpretation of the classic pizza.

Each participant has 10 minutes to create one great replica of the Pizza Classica. Evaluation criteria: Presentation 25 points | Taste 55 points | Hygiene, technique and skills 20 points.


Category 2: Pizza Creativa (Friday and Saturday)PizzaChallenge2017_Challenges2

This category brings together pizzaioli from different culinary experiences, in a fun and creative way. Each participant is expected to excel in creativity, innovation, intuition and personality in their creation.

Each participant must make their own preferred kind of dough, using their personal choice of ingredients and the final product can be presented in any shape they desire (round, square, star-shaped, calzone, etc.) Pizza dessert is also included in this category.

The participants must provide their own ingredients with the exception of the mozzarella. ARLA mozzarella will be provided by the organisers.

Evaluation criteria: Presentation 20 points | Taste 30 points | Creativity 30 points | Hygiene, technique and skills 20 points. Each participant has 10 minutes to bring one astonishing creation to life.


Category 3: Black Pizza Box (Friday and Saturday)PizzaChallenge2017_Challenges3

A new intriguing category within the Arla Malta Pizza Challenge, full of fun and personality. Each participant selects a random envelope each containing a unique number. A Black Box with surprise ingredients in it, will be assigned to them according to the number that would have been picked.

The Black Box consists of 7 distinct ingredients. Each Black Box has no identical ingredients, therefore each box is unique.

Each participant must make their own preferred kind of pizza using their own dough, using their personal choice of ingredients and the ingredients found in the black box. With regards to the sauce, they prepare two kinds of sauces (red sauce, white sauce, or green sauce etc). The choice of sauce must be stated in the application for the Arla Malta Pizza Challenge.

Evaluation criteria: Presentation 20 points | Taste 35 points | Use of ingredients 25 points | Hygiene, technique and skills 20 points. Each participant has 10 minutes to make one pizza.

Note: The jury will consider the amount of ingredients used from the Black Box and how they were used to achieve the final product.

Category 4: The Dough Kneading Challenge (Monday Morning)

The aim of this category is to create great dough, using just your hands, technique and basic ingredients: flour, water, salt, olive oil and yeast. The ingredients will be provided by the event organisers.

All the dough created in this category will be donated to charity.

Each competitor must use no more or less than 5kg of flour in total (either one type of flour or mixed). The amount of water, salt, yeast and olive oil can be adjusted by the participant according to their preference.

Evaluation criteria:

Speed – total time used up until the finished product is produced (20 points)
Quality – the quality of the dough is evaluated by the texture of dough, taste and technique (30 points)
Creativity – each competitor can choose from a range of flour, a maximum of 2 types of flour, which will determinate the level of creativity (25 points)
Final product – the baking (25 points)


General Guidelines

Each participant will be assessed throughout the competition by the Oven Judge and Technical Director appointed by the organiser.

Each participant must wear a professional uniform (chef jacket, chef trousers and chef hat and apron). These could be part of the company uniform that the participant represents, or they can also choose to wear the official uniform that is provided.

Each participant will be evaluated by an international commission of experts.

Each participant can benefit from complimentary professional advice of the Technical Director as well as the full jury, up to 50 minutes from the beginning of competition and 1 hour after competition ends.

Each participant can use the tools provided by the organiser, (knives, tomato spoons, spatulas etc.), or can use their own.

Where participants can use their own ingredients, this applies for all ingredients except for mozzarella. This should be exclusive to Arla.

In case of emergency, each competitor can ask for help from the organiser.

Each participant can be assisted by an another person when they present the pizza in the front of jury, but not during of competition.

The competition will be held in a public place in the presence of the public.





Please view registration form here.

A fee of €10 per challenge will apply and is not refundable.
Closing date for applications: 20th May 2015

For more information contact Apple Core Foods offices on 23850729 or send an email on


26 Oct 2016

Full day with Master Chef Antonino Esposito: 2nd prize overall Pizza Challenge winner – Mr. Nathaniel Palmier

Date: 06 October 2016
Place: Acqu’ e Sale, Sorrento, Italy

Mr. Nathaniel Palmier (left) was this year’s Pizza Challenge 2nd place overall winner. It was his pleasure to spend a day with Head Executive Chef Antonino Esposito, observing his tricks and skills while widening his own experience in the catering industry with particular focus on pizza. Mr. Duncan Cilia (right), Sales Manager at AppleCore Foods accompanied them on this trip.

Antonino (middle) explained in detail about flour techniques and machines used when making pizza dough professionally. They also discussed topics like temperature, kneading, dough rising, baking, and yeast. Antonino gave tips of how to achieve best results when using prepared pizza dough, resting time and the use of oil and water.

Mr. Palmier also had the chance to experience how the pizza business in Italy works. They visited a  pizza-making factory and learnt the difference between classic pizza and Neapolitan pizza which is baked using higher temperatures.