TOP 2009: Post game with the judges

Renée, Albany Jane, Daniel B, Joe

After this week's final in the 2009 Tournament of Pizza, sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, we talked with the judges about the highlights -- and the pizza places they would have liked to have seen in the field. And, yes, the video includes an appearance by the mysterious Albany Jane -- though we've protected her identity.

There's also a cameo by Otto, AOA's office dog. And Renée might have done the robot.

sunmark pizza banner


Squeeee! Greg, you're the best! I've never looked better!

While these AOAers talk about our time, they don't even mention all of the time and effort they put into the tourney before it even starts. Trust me, it's tons of effort to pull this off, and how they manage to do it with everything else they do... I'm in awe.

1. The Hello Kitty head should have been animated.

2. How did Hello Kitty judge the pizza when she has no mouth!?

Hey kids! Zombie Safety Tip o' the Day:

You don't have to outrun the zombies when you can outrun the AoA TOP Judges and their stuffed bellies.

Daniel B., Capital Region dreamboat?

I think the judges make a good point about "traditional pizza pie" - maybe next year you can limit the competition to just plain sauce and cheese.

BTW - Albany Jane is so cute, but I think she may have fleas.

I can't wait to try Pasquales pizza! I wish Marisa's had made it farther, it is our pizzeria of choice and owner Tony is the best!

I 2nd the vote on Daniel B as Capital Region dreamboat! There is just something about his super FUSSYness.

not sure why i always end up doing the robot when a camera is rolling. it also happened in a work tv promotion long ago. (and it aired over and over and over again)

thank you for including me again in the tournament. pizza is my favorite food, and it was great to keep sampling what the capital district has to offer. there are so many wonderful options!

the round when pasquale's took on marisa's was the best. my two favorite albany pizzas up were against each other, and it was emotional! it was a treat to sample them back to back.

i really hope pope's makes it in next year.

high fives all around! nice job everyone!

Pope's was only ever good by the slab, mostly because of value and its long-ago Broadway location. I know it's a sentimental favorite for Saratogians (and ex-Saratogians like me), but I'll let you in on a secret. Know what Pope's sauce is? Condensed tomato soup from a big institutional can.

Pizza is about time and place and friends and memories and right-now, let's get some. Take those away and it's something else. Pizza, like sex, is an element on the periodic table of good things to do, and doesn't care who rates it or how.


All 4 of you: Do you like Neapolitan pizza? I cook it at home at around 900 degrees Fahrenheit (electric oven on cleaning cycle). Just like Motorino and the late Una PIzza Napoletana in NYC. Bufala mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, etc... the pies are around 12". You're all welcome to come over for a tasting sometime. I just got done making a margherita and bianco tonight :)


Not to sound too creepy, but where do you live? ;) Dear goodness that sounds delicious.

Albany Jane,

I'm in Troy. I actually work with Joe, who I didn't even realize was a judge in the pizza competition until I saw this video! Maybe I can talk to him on Monday and set something up.

Well my secret's out :)

Chris - doesn't the oven lock in self cleaning mode? Sounds tasty, though.


Yes it does.

Nothing a pair of pliers can't fix :)

The only problem is that I can only cook one pizza at a time... and there's about a 10 minute window where the oven is at a perfect temperature (about 1hr 15 mins - 1hr 25 mins of "preheating" on clean cycle...) Each pie cooks in 60-75 seconds, so at best I can get about 5-6 pies "perfectly" done. If I start putting them in before that, they don't have enough char... and if I put them in after that time, the bottom comes out too burnt... it doesn't affect the taste but it does change the appearance... and appearance is half of the experience :)

Hey Gang,

Nunzio's wants their thermal pizza bag back, and a rematch where Pasquale's has to send a pizza to Saratoga.


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