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We’re looking for 2020’s top professional chefs and pizzaiolos to craft winning pizza recipes using Real California Cheese. As a follow-up to our successful 2019 competition, the California Milk Advisory Board invites professional chefs and accredited culinary students to share their best pizza recipes in three categories. A live bake-off will determine the winning recipes for Best in each Category and the Grand Prize.

"$29,500 in prizes" on a ribbon

Enter March 1 – April 24, 2020


2020 Categories – 3 Chances to Win!

"CAL-MEX" contest category

A pizza recipe blending your interpretation of the culinary and flavor fusion of California and Mexican cuisines featuring Hispanic style cheeses from California.

This fusion pizza recipe will celebrate the great flavors of both Mexico and California along with these delicious Real California Cheeses: Asadero, Cotija, Cotija (Queso Anejo), Enchilado, Enchilado Anejo, Manchego, Menonita, Oaxaca, Panela, Queso Blanco Fresco (Queso Para Frier), Queso Fresco, and/or Requeson.

Real California Pizza contest category

A pizza recipe representing your interpretation of the REAL California pizza. This signature California pizza recipe will feature ingredients that showcase the best of the Golden State with a special focus on Real California Cheeses.





"Plant Forward" contest category

A pizza recipe emphasizing the delicious flavor combinations of plants (e.g., fruits, vegetables, nuts, and/or beans and other legumes) and Real California Cheeses.

This on-trend flexitarian pizza recipe will deliver flavorful produce centric toppings layered to complement cheeses made from California milk, where meats or other non-cheese proteins are considered an optional garnish or condiment.

For a list of the more than 250 varieties and styles of Real California Cheeses and the approved brands that produce them, as well as clarification on which Hispanic-style cheeses from California qualify for the Hispanic pizza category, please refer to the CA Cheesemaker list.

We recognize some of these cheeses may not be available in your location.  You are encouraged to enter the contest anyway, substituting the cheese you use in your development process for the cheese from this approved list in your official recipe entry. The California MilkAdvisory Board will supply the specified approved cheeses from finalists’ recipes at the bake-off.

What's New in 2020

The 2019 Real California Pizza Contest was a huge success, and we’re planning on an even bigger contest for 2020. First, we’ve gone international – inviting the winner of the “Campeonato Mexicano de la Pizza” (Mexican Pizza Championship sponsored by the CMAB) to participate in our final bake-off. The categories have evolved to capture chefs’ creativity on the latest food trends – plant-forward ingredients and Cal-Mex flavors. And we’ve broadened our prize package so that every finalist is a winner and receives prize money. See Contest tab for details.

Sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board — from the nation’s #1 dairy state!

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