Contest Updates

2019 Real California Pizza Contest Summary Video

Popularity of Mexican Style Pizza

Pizza originated in the Naples region of Italy hundreds of years ago. What started as a cultural dish has morphed into an international favorite that is now enjoyed around the world. Many countries have created their own form of pizza by drawing inspiration from their culture. For example, deep-dish pizza was created in Chicago and is an extremely popular item in the United States. Pizza chefs in Mexico have creatively used combinations of ingredients and specific cheeses to drastically increase the popularity and visibility of Mexican-style pizzas.

What sets Mexican-style pizza apart from other forms of pizza are the combination of ingredients used. Chorizo is an extremely popular version of pork sausage in Mexico, and it is often used as the primary meat ingredient in Mexican-style pizzas. The inclusion of chorizo in a pizza helps signify and promote Mexican culture.

The type of cheese that is used is another factor in identifying Mexican-style pizza. Mozzarella is the most widely used cheese for pizza around the world. The famous Mexican cheese, Oaxaca, is a similar cheese. In addition, popular Mexican cheeses such as cotija and queso fresco are used frequently in Mexican-style pizzas. Using such popular national cheeses in pizza helps to provide a small taste of Mexican heritage in every bite. Lastly, the selection of toppings is a significant factor in differentiating Mexican-style pizza from other types.

Ingredients such as beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa, and chili powder are commonly used in many Mexican-style pizza recipes. Most would assume to see these ingredients on a taco or inside a burrito, but the brilliant minds of pizza chefs in Mexico have formed delicious recipes calling for them on top of a pizza.

The innovative combination of Mexican meats, cheese, and toppings has vaulted Mexican-style pizza to the forefront of the pizza industry. Mexican-style pizzas are becoming common items on pizzeria menus through the United States, as well as in the frozen food aisle of almost every grocery store. This popularity can be traced to the unique combination of ingredients that produce original flavors while leaving customers pleasantly satisfied and yearning for more. Join the growing trend and try a Mexican-style pizza soon!

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!

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

Tracy, Calif. – February 1, 2019 – The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) today announced the 2019 Real California Pizza Contest – a search for the best pizza recipes using 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.

The contest kicks off Friday, February 1, 2019 when participants can enter recipes in three categories: All Cheese, recipes using three or more Real California Cheeses; Mexican-Style, pizzas featuring Mexican-style cheeses from California cheesemakers; and The REAL California, ideas inspired by the Golden State that showcase California cheeses and toppings. Entry submissions close on March 25, 2019.

“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.”

Twelve finalists – three professional chefs and one culinary student in each category – will be selected by a professional panel of judges to compete in a bake-off on May 9, 2019 at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa, Calif. The winners in each category will be awarded $5,000, and the best overall pizza recipe creator will receive an additional $10,000 grand prize award.

Interested chefs and culinary students can choose from more than 250 varieties and styles of cheeses that carry the Real California Milk seal, which means they are made with milk from California’s more than 1,300 dairy farm families. For a list of qualifying cheeses and cheesemakers, contest rules and to enter online, visit http://realcaliforniamilk.com/foodservice.

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About Real California Milk/the California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s more than 1,300 dairy families and is one of the largest agricultural marketing boards in the United States. With a mission to increase demand for products made with Real California Milk, the CMAB is celebrating 50 years in 2019 of promoting California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs.

The Foodservice Division of the CMAB supports foodservice operators and distributors that use Real California dairy products. The CMAB offers marketing and promotional support for foodservice operators that purchase dairy products with the Real California Milk seal, which means they are made with 100 percent milk from California’s 1,300 dairy families.

For more information on sourcing cheese from California, please contact the foodservice team at 209.883.6455 (MILK), businessdevelopment@cmab.net or visit RealCaliforniaMilk.com/Foodservice.

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Contact:

Dave Chapman
The Food Connector for CMAB
dchapman@thefoodconnector.com 
(415) 381-8804

Jennifer Giambroni
CMAB
jgiambroni@cmab.net 
(209) 690-8244

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