about making money than about helping the community by
bringing together sponsors and pizzerias, to create an event that
gives back to local charities. The Lexington Humane Society
was the natural choice for Asvadi, while partner Presto, a food
supplier, chose Ronald McDonald House. The partners ended
up raising nearly $5,000 for the two charities.
“Tuesday night is not too busy for pizzerias so they can all
attend, and it typically takes place on the week that the University of Kentucky plays Louisville, so there is a passionate
intensity about who is going to win—Louisville or Lexington,”
Asvadi says. “The objective is to bring pizza operators together and try to help some of the local charities in the process.
Everybody loves pizza, and everybody loves to gather where
there is live music, pizza and beer.
“It takes a lot of people to organize it,” Asvadi adds. “This
time around, we had about 40 people, including volunteers,
helping us out. I started planning this maybe six months ago.
It is a lot of work, but my passion is to put projects like this
together. It is one of the things I really enjoy doing—while,
in the process, helping charities. I don’t think you can put a
monetary value on how much business this brings us. The
objective is to have a nice, fun, competitive evening and help
whoever we can as much as we can.”
Neighbor vs. Neighbor
With a slightly changed format this year, the competition’s
judges chose the top four finalists before moving into the final
round to determine the best of the best. Two of the finalists,
DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub and Papalinos, are family-owned busi-
nesses located just down the street from one another in Louis-
ville, but the owners say they’d never really had a conversation
before the Bluegrass Bakeoff. “Papalinos is a block down from
us and is a really good pizza restaurant, but it is different from
ours,” DiOrio says. “They’ve won all kind of awards. It was nice
to get to talk to [Rosenberg] for a bit.”
DiOrio says he had doubts whether his team could pull off
a victory this year. “We won in 2011 and then didn’t place in
2012,” he says. “Everybody there had a pretty good pizza. A lot
of times it really comes down to the ingredients you buy. There
absolutely is a difference in quality product.”
PMQ publisher Steve Green poses with representatives from FatKats
Pizzeria & Restaurant in Georgetown, Kentucky.