Almost a year ago, this site's editor and publisher, Adam K. (that's me), was called upon to serve as a judge in the annual Best of Long Island Pizza Contest. Contest organizers told me that the judges would be sampling 25 slices of pizza—five pizzerias competing in five categories. They told me that the Food Network would be there, taping for the show All American Festivals. They also told me not to eat breakfast.

This site's roving reporter, E-Rock, joined me on the journey to Farmingdale (that's who I'm consulting with in the screen capture at right), and our antics and recap of the day can be found in this entry from October 06, 2004. What concerns us today is the fact that I've finally gotten my greasy hands on a digitized, web-based streamcast of the All American episode depicting the L.I. pizza bash. (Watch it here.)

I appear in it for a total of about 2 seconds. E-Rock, maybe 1 second. I'll tell you who does get some serious airtime, and that's Miss Long Island (above). Host Jim O'Connor paid a heck of a lot of attention to her for a man wearing a wedding ring. But I'm not so naive as to think he'd actually want to talk to this dirtbag when the more telegenic Miss L.I. was just to my left. I mean, hey, sex sells, and what do I know about pizza anyway? Alright, have a look at the video. E-Rock and I appear a little over 9 minutes into the show, if you're interested.

The episode touches on a bit of pizza history and technique before highlighting a pizza-eating contest and a children's meatball toss (I don't know either), both of which served as welcome respites from eating. The funny thing about the show, or the contestants, rather, was something even my mom picked up on when she watched the episode some months ago—and she's by no means a pizza purist. "They're all so concerned with winning the speciality pizza division," Ma Slice said, "but you'd think the real honor would be in the regular pizza or even the Sicilian contest."

My thoughts exactly. I'd hazard a guess that most of a pizzeria's sales are on plain or modestly topped pies and slices, not those monstrosities with salads—or a Tyson chicken factory—dumped on them. So Ma was right (once again) when she said, "If you focus on the basics, the rest will fall in line."

Anyway, that's that. I encourage you to check out the Food Network video. Not only that one, but I produced a short film highlighting the day, too. It's set to Kiss's "Any Way You Slice It," and it rocks. Hard. Chekk it.

All American Festivals: "Pizza"
Long Island Pizza: Judge's Dread
Any Way You Slice It (11.9MB Quicktime .mov)

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