National Pizza Contest Offers Chefs, Students Up to $25,000 for Innovative Recipes Using Real California Cheese

Looking to win cash, publicity, and the opportunity to prove your pizza is the best? The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) recently announced the 2019 Real California Pizza Contest. The objective is simple: to find the best pizza recipes that use Real California Cheese. The contest, which awards prize money totaling $25,000 for the most innovative use of cow’s milk cheeses from California, is open to professional chefs and culinary students throughout the U.S.

Participants can enter recipes in three categories:

  • All Cheese, recipes using three or more
  • Real California Cheeses Mexican-Style, pizzas featuring Hispanic-style cheeses from California cheesemakers
  • The REAL California, ideas inspired by the Golden State that showcase California cheeses and toppings

Participants will be able to submit entries through March 25, 2019. Twelve finalists – three professional chefs and one culinary student in each category – will be selected by a professional panel of judges. These finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa, California to compete in a live bake-off final event on May 9, 2019. The winners in each category will be awarded $5,000, and the best overall pizza recipe creator will win an additional $10,000 grand prize award.

“Cheese is at the heart of every great pizza. With more than 78,000 pizzerias in the U.S. and another 100,000 plus restaurants serving some type of pizza or flatbread, it makes sense to showcase the inventive ways chefs and culinary students are using California cheese to set themselves apart,” said Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant for the CMAB. “As the leading producer of Mozzarella as well as Hispanic-style and Monterey Jack cheeses, we’re excited to celebrate these artisans and their creations.”

Interested chefs and culinary students can choose from more than 250 varieties and styles of cheeses that carry the Real California Milk seal. These cheeses are made with milk from one of the 1,300 dairy farm families located in California. For more information about qualifying cheeses and cheesemakers, contest rules and how to enter online, please sign up here for your chance to win!