TOP2013: The judges

TOP2013 judges overhead pizza plates

It requires an enthusiastic appetite.

Ingredients needed for the Tournament of Pizza: brackets, pizzas, and judges.

Here are the brackets.

And without ado -- either of the further or much variety -- here's the panel of judges for this year's TOP...

Saint Rose Tournament of Pizza ad 2013 in post

albany jane pizza judgeAlbany Jane

The mysterious Albany Jane -- of Albany Eats! -- has been a judge for every Tournament of Pizza. It's an impressive run. And it seems like just -- well, not yesterday, but not that long ago -- that we were eating pizza in Congress Park for the first TOP.

jerry papandrea pizza judge 2Jerry Papandrea

The man known as derryX returns for his third season on the panel. He's a tough judge, and he brings insight from his time working in a family Italian imports shop.

Nora and Joe EspositoJoe Esposito

A TOP original, Joe has been judge for all but one tournament. It doesn't feel like the TOP without him.

jeff janssens pizza judgeJeff Janssens

Jeff is new to panel this year. In addition to writing about food and beer at The Masticating Monkey, Jeff also recently started writing the recurring Eat This! feature for AOA. What he looks for in pizza:

I would say that despite being a native Californian, I've long been a devotee of the traditional New York style pizza. But I'm happy with any type of pie so long as there's evidence of thoughtful preparation, quality ingredients, and a nice balance between crust, sauce, and cheese. I've enjoyed both the cracker crust style of St. Louis pizza before and the deep dish of Chicago, after all (though I don't actually consider the latter to be pizza).
innae park pizza judgeInnae Park

You might know Innae as reporter and anchor for YNN. But we've gotten to know Innae has an adventurous lover of food. What she looks for in pizza:

Pizza delights me when all the elements are there. A flavorful sauce that won't explode when you take a bite. Cheese that oozes with mildness and gentle texture. Toppings (and I generally go for the unexpected - arugula, anyone?) that would hold their own on just a plain pita. A crust that's light like a cloud but still chewy. And of course, a bit of grease, but not enough to pour it off. Bring on the balance.
____

Many thanks to the judges for taking part in this year's TOP. We appreciate the time they put it into. And they make fun it for us.

The 2013 Tournament of Pizza is sponsored by The College of Saint Rose.

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