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MANITOBA PIZZA WEEK

Thirty-nine restaurants compete for top ‘za honours

 

 by Shel Zolkewich 

 

Best Bothwell - Red Ember Common

Thick crust. Thin crust. Extra cheese. Pineapple. An egg on top. No matter how you build a pizza in this town, Winnipeggers will eat it up. And they’ll get a chance to sample some bold new creations during Manitoba Pizza Week, June 4 to 10.

 

“Winnipeggers love everything when it comes to food, but I think they love pizza most of all,” said Joe Loschiavo of Pasquale’s Ristorante Italiano.

 

As the restaurant celebrates 40 years in business, they’ve turned to their roots for inspiration for the Pizza Week entries. A fan on the swing era and crooning greats like Frank Sinatra and Louie Prima, Loschiavo’s entry in the Best Pizza category is called the Oh, Marie, a nod to the Prima’s tune of the same name.

 

“We tasked our team with coming up with something special, and one of our chef’s is Maria, so it all came together in a great pizza,” he said. The Oh, Marie includes mushrooms, bacon, chicken, broccoli florets, Cheddar and mozzarella on an Alfredo Parmesan base.

 

Pasquales’ entry in the Best Vegetarian category is called, unsurprisingly, the Louie Primavera. It includes peas, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, zucchini, feta and mozzarella on a vegetable pesto base.

 

 

Pasquale's - Oh Marie

 

Thirty-nine restaurants—both in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba—are participating in the first Manitoba Pizza Week. Organizers include Bothwell Cheese, 680 CJOB, SkipTheDishes and Sysco. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the K.I.D.S. Initiative in support of sustainable education in Kenya. Winners will be determined by votes from the tasting public at ManitobaPizzaWeek.com. Categories include Best Pizza, Best Vegetarian Pizza, Blest Gluten Free Pizza and Best Bothwell Cheese Pizza.

 

“With toppings like crispy-fried wontons, Manitoba farmer sausage, sliced dill pickles and even deep-fried Bothwell mozzarella bites, the flavour combinations will inspire a whole new level of craving for pizza,” said Kendall Bishop, director of marketing for SkipTheDishes.

Manitoba Pizza Week offers diners an opportunity to step outside their pizza comfort zone (we’re looking at you, mushroom and pepperoni lovers) and experiment with some new flavours. Here’s a sampling of what’s on the menu.

Muenster Ballz Blitz, Diana's Cucina and Lounge

Marinara, local mozzarella, Manitoba farmer sausage, all-beef Italian-style meatballs, jalapenos and muenster cheese topped with crispy fried onions and a ranch dressing drizzle

General Tao’s Crispy Chicken Pizza, Kyu Slice

House-made dough stretched into a thin crust. sweet and sour sauce, house-blended premium mozzarella, crispy-fried chicken, red onions, green peppers and roma tomatoes. Finished with crispy-fried wontons, beet crème fraiche and black sesame seeds.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese Pizza, TaLLboys Grill & Pub in St. Claude

Signature thin crust topped with TaLLboys cactus cuts sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, sliced ham, crispy bacon, diced dill pickles and deep fried mozzarella bites.

Montreal Smoked Beef ‘n Cheese, Rebel Pizza

Bothwell maple-smoked extra old white cheddar mixed with Bothwell horseradish cheese, white sauce, shaved Montreal smoked beef brisket, sliced dill pickles, and red onion. Finished with smoked paprika and yellow mustard.

B², Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano

Gluten free corn pizza shells, arugula pesto, blueberries, caramelized red onion, feta, honey, and basil/blueberry salt.

Cast your votes at ManitobaPizzaWeek.com