Tim Ihlenfeld takes the lead in the final round.
As we do every year we culled our stores for the best cooks and had them compete to see who truly is the best of the best at Pagliacci. Each store nominated one cook to compete for the title. We judged based on a balance between speed and quality, since we train our crew to get customers’ pizzas to them as fast as we can without sacrificing quality.
We held preliminary rounds at four of our delivery kitchens to whittle down to the Final Four. The competition got progressively stiffer over the four days. Brandon Smokey of Juanita led after the first and second day, though his lead got smaller and smaller. On the third day, however, cooks started tossing beauties increasingly faster and ended with Ross Yeilding from Lake City Way in first place. Ross’ 30-second effort ended up being the second fastest of the tournament and earned him a spot in the final.
Tim Ihlenfeld from Broadway tossed a 27-second pizza that also saw him through to the final. Ross and Tim were joined by Sam Becker from Stone Way and Mikael Croy from Sand Point. We held the final at our Miller Delivery Kitchen and packed it with crew and managers, cheering and heckling. In the end, Tim showed that tenure counts and posted both the fastest time and best score on quality. Sam, Ross, and Mikael all finished within one point of each other and placed second, third, and fourth overall respectively. All ended up with a little extra dough for their efforts, and Tim won Broadway a dinner of Kalua pork cooked by Miller Associate Manager Don Villegas, a Hawaii native.