Why Our 2020 Finalists Rely on REAL California Cheese

The 2020 Real California Pizza Contest challenged top pizzas chefs around the country to creatively incorporate REAL California cheese into a signature recipe, and they delivered. Our 12 winning recipes all demonstrate innovative, tasteful ways to use California dairy products on pizzas that would highlight any menu.

Below are detailed quotes from our talented finalists that describe how REAL California cheese inspired their recipe:


Lars Smith: “I chose the Oaxaca because of its meltability, cotija for its depth of flavor, and the requesón for its creaminess. Together, I think they show the diversity of Hispanic-style cheeses.”

Buffy Wimmer: “We are using a Hispanic-style menonita for its rich, creamy and melting qualities; grated cotija to elevate the earthy black bean spread; dreamy creamy crema to smooth the avocado drizzle and crumbled queso fresco for the salty texture punch on top.”

Jordan Lawson: “Crema mexicana is great for evenly adding a cool down from the spice.”

The Real Californian

Justin Wadstein: “California mozzarella is smooth and less salty, allowing the crab, pesto, and lemon to really come through. California triple creme gets dropped on top for that extra decadent pop of flavor in each bite.”


Joe Mialki: “Pizza is only as good as the products you start with. That’s why my dad only used California cheese on every pizza he ever sold and why I will only use California cheese on every pizza I sell. I demand the best and my customers expect the best. California cheese manufacturers have always delivered.”

Anisha Blodgett: “I selected California mozzarella because the milk produced from grass-fed cows has higher nutritional value. Similarly, I chose California ricotta as it’s made from cow’s milk and is made naturally without additives. The quality of both these cheeses produces a tastier, and healthier, pizza!”

From the spicy toppings of Cal-Mex to the inventive ingredients of Plant-Forward, REAL California cheese offers the quality taste and texture that is essential to crafting any delicious pizza.

Be sure to tune into The Finals on November 17th to see who takes home the $15,000 Grand Prize!

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