There’s cheese. There’s meat and veggies. There’s a base crust. What else can be more simple and exquisite than a slice of pizza while watching the game, dinner with the family or the morning hangover breakfast? Well, according to the 45+ competitors and organizers of YYC Pizza Week, there’s plenty of room for improvement and imagination!
YYC Pizza Week has come to Calgary, running from Friday, Sept 26th until Sunday, Oct 5th. The sister festival to the highly successful YYC Burger Week in May, Pizza restaurants all over Calgary were invited to a battle of imagination, taste and style in the form of the humble Pizza. Competing in 3 categories, the classic thin crust, ever popular thick/american style crust and the very UNUSUAL category where virtually anything goes, these Calgary restaurants are battling for the hearts, minds, stomachs and taste buds of the city. And the challenge is wide and varied indeed with combatants throughout the entire city in every quadrant.
In May, YYC Burger Week raised over $26,000 for 3 local charities, which led to a chance meeting with Calgary Meals on Wheels. Feeding the people of Calgary’s needy of all ages and lifestyles, Meals on Wheels literally serves thousands of meals each day requiring a roving team of 75+ volunteers each day driving across the city to deliver frozen meals freshly made from their state of the art kitchen. Charged on a sliding scale based on need and income, every recipient gets a chance to enjoy well cooked meals at least a few times a week. One of Calgary’s stalwarts of true community interaction, it was a perfect match for Terrence Lo (@calgarydreamer) and Wanda Baker (@momwhoneedswine) who were looking for a new cause to champion and specifically created YYC Pizza Week for Meals on Wheels.
Taking a page from their parent festival, the restaurants all have to make a UNIQUE one of a kind pizza never seen before on their menu, and charge $20 for the pizza (a little more if Gluten-Free) with $3 of each sale going to Meals on Wheels. There were no restrictions made on the creativity or ingredients depending on the category, and the restaurants were required to also be utterly shameless in their self-promotion if they so wished. To ensure there would be even more variety for the Gluten-Free community, local GF advocate Amber Romaniuk of Amber Approved was enlisted to promote the Gluten Free lifestyle and will even have a special themed Pizza themed day on Oct. 1st.
And to go along with the spirit, the popular Chopped Canada champion, Pierre Lamielle and his creative PR partner, Candice Bergman of Food On Your Shirt, were enlisted to create a unique logo and line of YYC Pizza Week t-shirts with a portion of the shirt sales all going to Meals on Wheels. And to build further hype, a number of the local Food Bloggers were given some unusual ingredients to make their own unique pizza such as Chestnut Puree and Anchovies from the Italian Store.
As for how it works? Very simple. Each Medium or Large competition pizza is $20. Of that, $3 goes to Meals on Wheels. Go out and eat. Or order in. Or Take out. Order the YYC Pizza Week pizza from the list available at http://www.YYCPIZZAWEEK.com or on the Passports (available for pick up from any of the competitors) and enjoy. The ingredients are wildly imaginative, from a potato latke pizza from Grumans Deli, curried lobster and crab from Pizza Crave or the unusual Sushi Pizza from Blowfish Sushi Lounge. Bison, White Gold Fior di Latte cheese, gluten-free Care Bakery crust, truffles, wild mushrooms, arugula, pulled pork, pork belly and more, all of the restaurants have come with a pizza that push the envelope of what pizza can be. And as a bonus, noted #Pancakageddon marathon eater, Kyle MacQuarrie (@KyleMacQuarrie) is about to embark on a pizza dining marathon of ALL of the restaurants!
10 days. 10 days to try some of the best UNIQUE pizza Calgary has ever seen. 10 days to see the imagination of Calgary chefs and to raise funds while finding out about the worthy cause that is Calgary Meals on Wheels. It’s a tasty mission for all Calgarians.
Check out the YYC Pizza Week Shirts at Food On Your Shirt
Learn more about Calgary MEALS ON WHEELS on the Web