MGM National Harbor Hosts Pizzapalooza

A dozen leading chefs from across the U.S. will be at MGM National Harbor demonstrating their pizza making skills from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 10. The DMV’s own chef Bryan Voltaggio is part of the lineup and will be tossing pies and rolling out his pizza creation in front of guests

Being billed as Pizzapalooza, this ode to the tasty pie provides guests the opportunity for unlimited bites of Naples, American Artisan, New York and Chicago style pizza and Italian themed beer and wine.

The participating chefs include:

  • Giulio Adriani, Atlanta, GA: A Master Pizzaiolo and Naples native, Adriani is redefining Neapolitan pizza in America with his Atlanta-based pizzeria, The Local Pizzaiolo.
  • John Arena, Las Vegas, NV: A third generation pizza maker, Arena is a worldwide ambassador for the world’s greatest communal food, advocating for the shared experiences and celebration of the artisan craft. He is co-owner of Metro Pizza, boasting five locations throughout Nevada. Metro opened specializing in thin-crust New York pies, but has since added a wide range of regional specialties to their menu.
  • Vincent Rotolo, Las Vegas, NV: Chef Rotolo is the Chef, General Manager and Co-Owner of Evel Pie, an Evel Knievel-themed pizzeria located in Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. The dining concept blends a 1970’s dive bar & pizza parlor style joint filled with Evel Knievel memorabilia serving up an authentic NY style street slice. Vincent won the Silver Medal in the gluten free division at the 2017 International Pizza Expo and his Detroit style gluten free pizza has taken the industry by storm. A native of NYC, he is known as a passionate obsessive of all things pizza and Italian American food culture.
  • Paulie Gee, Brooklyn, NY: Paulie Gee continues to solidify his entrepreneurial legacy by helping pizza enthusiasts establish and operate wood-fired pizzerias across the country. During PIZZAPALOOZA, he will be joined by protégés Kelly Beckham of Paulie Gee’s Hampden (Baltimore), Derrick Tung of Paulie Gee’s Logan Square (Chicago) and TJ Gibbs of Paulie Gee’s Short North (Columbus).
  • Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio, National Harbor, MD: Chef Bryan is executive chef and owner of six restaurants including, RANGE by Chef Bryan Voltaggio, which offers an assortment of wood oven pizzas. A James Beard Foundation Awards Finalist, Chef Voltaggio is the first chef to ever compete on both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse at MGM National Harbor, a joint restaurant venture with his brother Michael, offers an exclusive dining concept featuring local flavors and regional specialties.
  • Chef Joseph Englese, National Harbor, MD: Having owned and operated pizzerias along the East Coast for over a decade, Chef Englese oversees the operations of National Market at MGM National Harbor, which includes ZiZi’s Pizza, as well as nine other unique fast casual dining experiences.
  • Executive Pastry Chef Sylvain Bortolini, National Harbor, MD: A celebrated pastry chef and world-class chocolatier, Pastry Chef Bortolini oversees the pastry, dessert and chocolate creations for MGM National Harbor including the iconic European-inspired pastry shop, Bellagio Patisserie, as well as restaurants, in-room dining and catering operations.
  • Gino Rago, Chicago, IL: Rago is a competitive pizza maker, having won second place in the “Best Pizza in America” contest during the 2015 U.S. Pizza Team Northeast National Pizza Trials. Alongside his brother, he is the owner of the Chicago-based pizzeria, Panino’s.
  • Chef Nino Coniglio, Brooklyn, NY: A Brooklyn native, Congilio was awarded “Pizza Maker of the Year” at the 2016 International Pizza Expo. In November 2016 he opened Brooklyn Pizza Crew, a pizza collaborative offering traditional New York-style pizzas such as the Brooklyn pie and the Margherita, as well as some specialty varieties.
  • Roberto Caporuscio, New York, NY: A passionate advocate for the Neapolitan Pizza Industry, Caporuscio serves as U.S. President of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli and is the owner of Kesté Pizza & Vino in New York City, specializing in Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas with vegan and gluten-free options.
  • Michele D’amelio, Orlando, FL: A native of Irpinia, a province of Avellino just hours from Naples, Chef D’amelio is known for his signature Napolean-style pizza dishes. D’amelio was named the World Champion in the Italian Division at the 2013 International Pizza Expo and currently collaborates with Orlando Food Sales, Molino Caputo and CIAO tomatoes.
  • Executive Chef Roy Ellamar, Las Vegas, NV: A Hawaiian Native, Chef Ellamar helms Harvest by Roy Ellamar at Bellagio in Las Vegas offering an exceptional guest experience. The fine dining concept incorporates his passion for homegrown and locally sourced produce and continually cultivates relationships with local farmers ensuring the best quality product is procured.

General tickets start at $100 with a special VIP experience also available. Participating M life Rewards members will also receive $25 in freeplay at the event.


Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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