John Arena is the owner of Metro Pizza (six locations) in Las Vegas as well as an amazing pizza mentor and true friend.
What a crew in this photo! Top row from left is Jonathan Goldsmith (Spacca Napoli, Chicago), Jon Porter (Chicago Pizza Tours), ME (Scott’s Pizza Tours), and Roberto Caporuscio (Keste, Don Antonio by Starita). Bottom left is Tony Gemignani (Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco and Pizza Rock in Las Vegas and Sacramento) and Craig Whitson (author of Passion for Pizza). We’re all featured in the book so Craig had us get together for a lovely photo.
That’s what my station looks like after a round of pizza judging. In the preliminaries I usually just take a couple bites and finish off only the ones I really like. After the finals I sit there and finish every slice.
After the show closed for the day, we went on an epic pizza crawl through Las Vegas, the low point of which was Difara in Caesar’s Palace. Oh, and I’m wearing a sweet soccer shirt given to me by an amazing bunch of Brazilian pizza folks!
Homeslice Neil of Pizza A Casa did an amazing job at the Largest Dough Stretch competition! His brother and mother even came out to support!
Tom and Derek have both taken pizza tours with me and own their own pizzerias! Tom’s is in Lithuania and Derek’s is in Schertz, TX. This photo was taken just after Derek made me the best pizza I tasted at the entire event.
Ali emailed me out of the blue a few months ago and met up with me to chat as I hastily set up a restaurant for a tour. I remember him telling me how amazing his pizza was and my eyes rolled as they usually do when someone brags but doesn’t bring me a slice. Well it looks like he wasn’t kidding because his pizza placed first in the non-traditional division! So great to see Ali after our brief encounter in NYC.
This glorious crew of pizza nerds embarked upon an epic pizza crawl to four pizzerias around Las Vegas. We hit Pizza Rock, Metro Pizza, Difara and Secret Pizza. So many great people, including Mark from Pizza A Casa, Falicia from Pizza Lover Chicago, Jon and Jon of Chicago Pizza Tours, Mike and Bri from DiNuzio’s Pizza, Cody Scott from Arte Pizzeria in Colorado, Marius Niva (development for a huge pizza company in Norway), Donnie the driver, Jon and Bri of Wooden Paddle Pizza, Miriam Weiskind of Scott’s Pizza Tours, Jim the driver and Steph Mantis. About half those people are SPT alumni!