12 Chefs Create National Pizza Contest Final for Innovative Recipes Using Real California Cheese

12 Chefs Create National Pizza Contest Final for Innovative Recipes Using Real California Cheese

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Tracy, Calif. — The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) today announced the 12 finalists for the 2022 Real California Pizza Contest (RCPC) — the fourth nationwide quest for the best foodservice pizza recipes with the most innovative uses of real California cow’s milk cheeses. The professional chef finalists will compete in three categories at a public bake-off event in Napa, California, June 22, 2022 for prizes totaling $30,000.

The winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges, including Tony Gemignani, executive chef, restaurateur, international pizza authority and president of the World Pizza Champions; Glenn Cybulski, certified pizzaiolo and award-winning chef; and Spencer Glenn, Chef at Pizza My Heart and winner of the 2021 RCPC Grand Prize. The judges chose the 12 finalists from more than 100 blind entries from across the United States, in the recipe categories Cal-Mex, REAL Californian and Plant- forward.

“After four years, we continue to be inspired by the innovative use of our California cheeses in pizza competition entries. For such an established food service category, chefs are not without ideas and that’s what brings us back year after year,” said Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant for the CMAB. “As the largest producer of mozzarella cheese and the second largest cheese producer in the US, pizza remains an important category for our foodservice business. Connecting with and celebrating these chefs and their creations helps us become aware of the amazing products we have available.”

The live bake-off final event takes place at the Culinary Institute of America Copia facility in Napa, where pizzas are prepared and baked on-site for a blind review by judges. Category winners will receive $5,000 each. The grand prize winner, chosen from the three category winners, will win an additional $10,000. The remaining finalists will receive $500 each.

The 2022 finalists, listed next to the hometown name and pizza entry, are:


  • Ryan Ososky, Los Angeles, California, Oaxaca in the Motorcity
  • Christopher Lascik, Yelm, Wash., El Puerco Verde
  • Austin Buckland, Marion, Ohio, La Fiesta
  • Marcus Medina, Tracy, California, Cali Craft Chicken Enchilazza

The REAL Californian

  • Ray Cullison, Kingman, Arizona, California Dreamin’
  • Chris Decker, Las Vegas, Nev., For the Love of California
  • Jason Garland, Waverly, Minnesota, The Venice Beach
  • David Jacobson, Concord, California, The Gold Rush


  • Leah Scurto, Windsor, California, Spear-It of Spring
  • Max Cufre, San Diego, California, honey, I’m home!
  • Yoshiharu Sogi, Sonoma, California, Sweet Blue
  • Melina Felix, Littleton, Colo., Green N’ Zesty

RCPC bake-off finals will be streamed on Facebook Live on June 22 at 3pm PST at More details about the bake-off, pizza chef finalists and CMAB’s food service support are available at: Real California pizza contest.

California is a reliable, consistent source of sustainable dairy products used by chefs around the world. As the nation’s largest dairy state, California has an impressive array of award-winning cheese makers and dairy processors, helping to drive food innovation.

About Real California Milk/the California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an agency of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to feed the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs address the increasing demand for sustainable California dairy products in the state, in the US and around the world through advertising, public relations, research and retail and foodservice promotion programs.

The Foodservice Division of the CMAB supports foodservice operators and distributors using Real California dairy products. The CMAB provides marketing and promotional support to food service operators who purchase dairy products bearing the Real California Milk Seal, meaning they are made with 100 percent milk from California’s more than 1,100 family-owned dairy farms, utilizing some of the most sustainable dairy practices in the nation.

For more information about buying California cheese, contact the food service team at 209.883.6455 (MILK), [email protected] or and YouTube