Emilio’s operations manager Aaron Gehrman recently returned from an international pizza competition, where he placed third. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock pizza shop finishes third in international competition

Emilio Finatti Sicilian Pizzeria offered judges a mushroom and bacon variant

Pizza loyalists may never come to an agreement over which shop offers the best slice of pie in the city, but White Rock’s Emilio Finatti Sicilian Pizzeria has recently received an international nod that may further the debate.

Emilio’s finished in third place at the International Pizza Expo, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in early March.

The competition, held annually since 2007, features five divisions and draws more than 200 pizzerias from across the globe.

Competitors are tasked with baking a pizza at the competition and present it to a panel of judges.

Emilio’s operations manager Aaron Gehrman, who competed in the traditional category, presented a smoked apple-wood bacon pizza, including king oyster mushroom and a medley mushroom sauteed in citrus, white wine, tarragon and apricot.

“What I find a real challenge with the traditional competition is that you’re so restricted for ingredients. You can only use two toppings,” Gehrman told Peace Arch News Wednesday. “You can use a varietal of the same toppings, that’s why I did a medley mushroom. It really comes down to flavour profile, consistency, how the pizza holds together and the crust.”

Gehrman said the competition is done by blind judging.

“For the pan pizza division, they had to swap the judges out halfway through, or even twice, because in previous years they’ve had judges complain that they can’t sleep,” Gehrman said.

Gehrman said that competitors are allowed to use their choice of oven. However, Gehram’s oven of choice, the WP Matador, wasn’t available because “it got stuck on a boat from Germany and wasn’t able to make it to the competition.”

“I had to work on a different oven, but even with the curveball, it was amazing, very happy to place this year.”

Gehrman said he received “amazing support” from the Canadian Food and Restaurant Association president Donald Gyurkovits, who through connections, was able to connect Gehrman with a kitchen and produce supplier so he could tweak his recipe in Las Vegas.

“It was so heartwarming, I get goosebumps just talking about it.”

Gehrman has been entering the competition for a number of years, and placed first in the traditional category in 2015.

Although the award-winning pizza isn’t a regular item on Emilio’s menu, Gehrman said he intends to introduce the bacon and mushroom variant as a specialty evening feature April 6.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

Lost season ‘disappointing’, but White Rock Renegades eager to play outside competition

South Surrey softball organization president hopes inter-city play is a few weeks away

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read