2018 International Pizza Challenge crowns Ultimate Pan Pizza

Upper Crust Pizza has won the 2018 International Pizza Challenge sponsored by the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Their new recipe, “Big Italy,” was deemed the 2018 World Champion Best Pan Pizza.

The Best Pan Pizza was made with proprietary ancient dough methodology and perfected over 25 years with a relentless pursuit of excellence, a house-made spicy garlic sauce and gourmet toppings ranging from sirloin steak to Peruvian red pepper drops. This delectable pie won over the judges’ taste buds with every bite. It’s all about the dough with these tough judges, yet Chef Issam Halawi was able to win their hearts and minds with his innovative approach. He created a four-day aging process where natural yeast digests all the complex sugar in the dough.

“Thick and crunchy dough doesn’t have to ever be heavy anymore. The yeast does all the work while guests can enjoy this magnificently light, airy and crunchy crust without feeling tired after eating. This is a breakthrough for our industry and amazing news for pizza eaters around the world, especially our guests,” said Halawi.

The World’s Best Pan Pizza is only awarded to one competitor per year after undergoing The Pizza Challenge with over 300 competitors from around the world. The crafted pizza is then judged on Crust, Presentation and Quality of Toppings. Since the inception of this Pizza Challenge, only a few winners have the title of the World Champion Pan Pizza.

Upper Crust Pizza is a local Cleveland-area pizza company established in 1975 and specializes in gourmet and higher-quality ingredients and creations.

SUSAN WONG :Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.