|All U.S. Pizza Team members placed winning honor AND cash prizes|
Last week 4 members of the U.S. Pizza Team traveled clear across the globe to Shanghai to compete in the 10th annual Chinese Pizza Championship which took place at the FHC food show. The flight was grueling, the food, hardly recognizable, and yet the competition turned out to be a huge victory for the Pizza Team. All 4 traveling team members placed as well as our tag along Russian competitor representing Dodo’s pizza.
The Groupon U.S. Pizza Team members competing this year were Rick and Jane Mines, Dave Sommers and Mike LaMarca (pictured above). LaMarca received an honorable mention, Rick Mines and Sommers tied for 3rd place and Jane Mines came in 2nd. Anatolii Surkov of Dodo’s pizza in Russia came in 1st, tied with two other Chinese competitors Zhang Xu and Cai Zhichao.
But winning wasn't easy. There were over 40 competitors and challenges along the way. The team's first challenge came immediately after touching down on Chinese soil. Customs confiscated all the team’s meats, cheeses and vegetables for their competition pizzas. Some ingredients would be particularly difficult to find, such as the gorgonzola needed for Dave Sommers pie. But with help from a vendor at the FHC food show, Sommers was able to recreate his pizza.
|Left to right: Dave Sommers with wife Karil and son Chris|
Apart from the pizza competition and trade show, PMQ ventured out into Shanghai. Dinner was always an adventure, and not always a pleasant one. The Chinese way of having a communal dinner is traditionally at a large round table with a large lazy Susan in the middle. A wide variety of dishes are brought out and everyone helps themselves, turning the lazy Susan to pass along the dishes. Each meal was a new surprise adventure with food quite different from what you'd expect at a Chinese restaurant in the U.S. In fact, the food we call Chinese food is what the Chinese call Chinese American food. You can find your General Tsao's chicken and chop suey only at Chinese American restaurants like Fortune Cookie. No, the real China eats such delicacies as frogs, duck skin, cow stomach, chicken feet and cold goose. Fortunately, we all survived the meals in China, even the street food was inexplicable but delicious.
Some of the other excursions included a river boat dinner cruise on the Pearl River which passes along the skyline of Shanghai. The economic boom in China is evident in the colorfully displayed flashing lights reminiscent of Times Square. Check out the following pictures along with some beautiful scenes in the quiet water town of Zhujiajiao.
|This Chinese dog looks suspiciously French|
|Street vendors have the best food|
|It's crowded in China|
|The Green family, PMQ publishers Steve and Linda with children Chris, Caroline and (me!) Missy.|
For bonus excitement, check out Chris Green's viral video on venturing to China
Chris in China
Posted by Chris Green on Monday, November 16, 2015