US Pizza Team
US Pizza Team
Peerless’s CE131PE bakes up some winners at 2014 US Pizza Team Competitions looking for a chance for a trip to the 2015 World Pizza Championships in Italy
It was a big summer for pizza shop owners who had the chance to compete for a trip to the 2015 World Pizza Championships in Italy and a spot on the US Pizza Team. It also proved to be a big summer for Peerless, which baked the winner at the Slice of Americana Pizza Competition during the July 4, 2014 weekend down in Oxford, Mississippi.
Rick Mines of Nima’s Pizza & More in Gassville, Arkansas, was the winner, and baked his prized pie in a Peerless CE131PE, according to US Pizza Team director Brian Hernandez. In fact, two of the top three pies that weekend were baked in the Peerless digitally-controlled electric oven.
The CE131PE also baked the runner-up pizza at the SEC Pizza Competition during the Oxford Craft Beer Festival the previous April.
“Both competitions were eight hours of non-stop pizza. Everyone had to bake three pizzas at a time because we had to feed the public as well as compete. We had a larger deck oven, a brick oven and the Peerless,” he said. “The Peerless was a real space saver, but was still able to do some volume. There was enough room inside, plus the shelves underneath were helpful.”
Hernandez said the CE131PE withstood the rigors of the competition, both indoors and outdoors.
“One thing we realized is that it heats up fast…very fast,” Hernandez said. “It holds its temperature really well and stays hot. With as many pizzas going in and out of the oven, the competitors needed an oven that would maintain temperature. That’s important to us, because people are trying to bake their best pie. If someone would have to wait for the oven to recover, they might not come out with a perfect pie, and that could affect the competition. If somebody has to wait on the oven, they might get the short end of the stick.”
That became even more important in the July competition, which was held on a breezy summer day.
”It was very breezy outside, but the oven still held its temperature,” Hernandez said. “If somebody opened the oven door and a big gust of wind came by, the oven still didn’t cool off.”
Hernandez said the CE131PE was able to handle all the different types of pizza baked in the two competitions.
“There were two-and-a-half inch pan pizzas, traditional pizza baked on a screen and New York Style pizza cooked right on the stone,” he said. “The Peerless was able to handle all the different types of pizza made that day.”
The size of the CE131PE was also helpful during the competitions, Hernandez added.
“It was very easy to move and store. With the wheels and the steel shelving, it definitely made things easier. The convenience factor was great for us,” he said. “It’s not too tall, and not too wide, so like I said, it’s a great space-saving oven. But there was more than enough room to bake some winning pizza.”
US Pizza Team
Brian Hernandez, Director
612 McLarty Road
Oxford, Mississippi 38655