Pittsburgh pizza is international: Caliente Pizza & Draft House chefs tapped to join all-star team of pizza 

CONTACT: Robin Rectenwald WordWrite Communications

412-246-0340 robin.rectenwald@wordwritepr.com

Pittsburgh pizza is international: Caliente Pizza & Draft House chefs tapped to join all-star team of pizza 

Pittsburgh, PA (January 15, 2019) – Caliente Pizza & Draft House’s owner Nick Bogacz and regional chef Eric Von Hansen have been invited to join the “all-star” team of internationally well-known pizza chefs competing in the 28th annual Pizza World Championship, the world’s largest pizza competition taking place in Parma, Italy April 9-11.

Bogacz and Von Hansen have been proudly representing Pittsburgh at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, the largest pizza competition in the U.S., since 2016. After being named World Pizza Champions three times at the Expo’s International Pizza Challenge, Bogacz and Von Hansen were asked by 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani to join his World Pizza Champions team. They said yes.

“Nick and Eric are dedicated to the craft of pizza in every way, from their development of innovative recipes to their commitment to community service,” said Gemignani. “The World Pizza Champions are the best-of-the-best and that’s what these guys are.”

Pittsburgh natives Nick and Angie Bogacz opened Caliente Pizza & Draft House, their first independent pizza shop in Bloomfield in 2012. Although a young shop considering Pittsburgh’s pizza history, Nick Bogacz and Eric Von Hansen are industry veterans. Their expertise in the pizza and gourmet food industry has led to the Caliente team opening four stores in six years and earning recognition at the world’s most well-respected pizza industry events. The World Pizza Champions team is the pepperoni on top of Caliente’s hard work pie.

“I started out in the pizza industry as a delivery driver when I was 17 years old,” said Bogacz. “After working my way up in the industry, it was always a dream to own my own pizza shop. Now it’s unbelievable to have the chance to represent the City of Champions across the globe, in pizza that is.”

What is the World Pizza Champions team?

The World Pizza Champions team, founded in 2005 by the famed Gemignani, is a group of elite pizza pros from around the world who represent the craft through competition, education and community service. Inclusion on the team is by invitation only and members are selected “based on skill, character, compatibility, and selfless effort on behalf of the industry.” This is the all-star team of pizza.

Currently, there are 38 active members with Bogacz and Von Hansen being the only representatives from Pittsburgh. The pair will travel with other members of the team to compete in the Pizza World Championship in April.

What is the Pizza World Championship? 

In its 28th year, the Pizza World Championship is the industry’s most well-respected and competitive industry competition with pizzaiolos from over 30 countries and hundreds of chefs vying for a slice of pizza fame. In Parma, several hundred chefs compete in each category.

This will be Bogacz and Von Hansen’s first trip to the Pizza World Championship. Before the competition, they’ll travel with Gemignani and other teammates to learn about cheese production and more from masters in Italy. The pair will compete in the “Pizza for Two” division where they will work together to create different elements of the pizza without speaking. Von Hansen will also participate in the “Pizza Triathlon e Gare per Nazione,” competing to be named the Best Foreign Nation Pizzaiolo.  

What is the difference between the Pizza World Championship and International Pizza Expo?

Held annually in Las Vegas, International Pizza Expo is the largest pizza show in the US with hundreds of exhibitors, over 1,300 booths and tens of thousands of attendees. During the Expo, there are two competitive events: the International Pizza Challenge and the World Pizza Games. These events are lauded as the second most competitive pizza events in the world by pizza pros, behind only the Pizza World Championship in Parma, Italy.

Caliente took home a World Championship title in the “Pan” division with their “Quack Attack” duck pizza on their first attempt at the International Pizza Challenge in 2016. In 2017, they placed first in the “Non-Traditional” and “Traditional North East divisions” and Won a World Championship in the Largest Pizza Stretch Division. They came back to win another World Championship in the Non-Traditional division last year with Von Hansen’s “Wagyu Beef Truffle Fromage” pie. Bogacz and Von Hansen plan to compete again in this year’s International Pizza Expo taking place March 3-6.

To learn more about the Pizza World Championship in Italy and Tony Gemignani’s all-star team, please visit www.worldpizzachampions.com.


Caliente Pizza & Draft House, founded in 2012, is an award-winning locally owned and operated pizza restaurant known for their roster of craft beers and gourmet pizzas. With just four locations in the Pittsburgh area, Caliente is known internationally as three-time World Pizza Champions and represents Pittsburgh on the World Pizza Champions Team. For locations and more information, visit www.pizzadrafthouse.com

Caliente Pizza & Draft House’s Poses and Pints

Poses and Pints Signup Link

DATE AND TIME Sat, June 16, 2018 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

LOCATION Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse 225 Commercial Avenue 2nd Floor Aspinwall, PA 15215


Tap into a great start to the weekend with Caliente Pizza & Draft House’s Poses and Pints. Everyone is welcome to join in this hourlong vinyasa flow yoga class in the private space located on the second floor of the drafhouse. After yoga you will be treated to a beer of your choice. Caliente Pizza & Draft House specializes in hard to source beers from around the country and around the world now you can enjoy a refreshing yoga class AND have a tasty beverage!

Each $25 ticket includes yoga and a beer after class. If space is available, walk-in tickets are $30 (cash only). Space is limited to 16 yogis. No yoga experience necessary. BYO mat, water and a positive attitude. Dress in athletic attire. Yoga & mindfulness taught by Teri Ferguson, RYT

*Ages 21 and over. Please arrive 15 minutes early to get settled in for class.

Purchase of a ticket to this event implies acceptance and and aknowledgement of the activity disclaimer below:

I hereby consent, as a participant in yoga classes, and agree to assume all of the risks involved. I understand that Teri Ferguson and Caliente Pizza and Drafthouse do not provide medical insurance relative to accidents, injuries, and/or death as a result of program related activities. I agree to absolve and hold harmless Teri Ferguson, Caliente Pizza and Drafthouse and their representatives for damage, loss or injuries.

I realize that any form of physical activity holds the possibility of unforeseen hazards and involves a risk of possible injury or even death. I hereby affirm that I am voluntarily participating in these activities with the knowledge of the risk involved. I agree to expressly assume and accept any and all risks of injury and/or death.

I hereby affirm myself to be physically sound and suffering from no condition, ailment, impairment, disease, or other illness that would prevent my participation in yoga activities. I declare that I have disclosed any and all medical history to the yoga instructor relevant to participation.

I hereby authorize Teri Ferguson, Caliente Pizza and Drafthouse and their representatives to use, reproduce, and/or publish photographs and/or video that may pertain to me—including my image, likeness and/or voice without compensation. I understand that this material may be used in various publications, public affairs releases, recruitment materials, or for other related endeavors, including website and Facebook page for the promotion of yoga events.

*No refunds available once tickets have been purchased.

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you can make it!Cheers,Teri Ferguson

Pair of Caliente Pizza pies voted best in world




Pair of Caliente Pizza pies voted best in world

Caliente Pizza chef Von Hansen wins ‘best non-traditional’ pie; general manager Oz Turcan runner-up for ‘best traditional’ at International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV, March 22, 2018: Caliente Pizza and Draft House, with four Pittsburgh area locations at 4624 Liberty Ave in Bloomfield, and 4706 William Flynn Hwy in Allison Park, 329 Castle Shannon Blvd in Mount Lebanon, and 225 Commercial Ave. in Aspinwall, had two of its chefs win top honors at the 2018 International Pizza Expo.

Chef Eric Von Hansen’s pizza “Wagyu Beef Truffle Fromage” won first place in the Best Non-Traditional division. His fine-dining inspired pie featured black truffles, roasted shallots, fingerling potato hash, white cheddar, a simple syrup made with bing cherries marinated in vanilla beans and bourbon, and $88 per pound brown Wagyu beef. Von Hansen previously won first place in the Pan division at the 2016 expo with “Quack Attack,” but finished in second last year in the Non-Traditional.

“I wanted a little redemption,” Von Hansen said. “Deep down inside I knew I could win it. That hunger just grew and I wanted to prove it to myself that I could do it.”

There are no limitations on ingredients in the Non Traditional division. He said his inspiration for the pie stemmed from his experiences working in fine dining. Those higher-end dishes, he said, exemplified everything you could want in a food dish and he tried to bring that same style, presentation and flavor to life with a pizza.

Von Hansen was proud of his pizza but more excited by the recognition it brought to Pittsburgh, a city unfortunately an afterthought when lists of great pizza towns are compiled.

“People should take notice of what Pittsburgh is doing,” he said. “[The city] doesn’t really get a lot of respect when it comes to making pizza. You hear New York, New Jersey, Chicago but Pittsburgh doesn’t fall on the spectrum for pizza. So when I go up there I’m representing the city not just myself.”



Caliente Pizza and Draft House owner Nick Bogacz agrees. He and his wife recently opened their fourth store in Aspinwall, and says the honors are proof that locally sourced ingredients and daily made-from- scratch dough put them on the map.

“I am so proud of our team for winning a world championship three years in a row,” Bogacz said. His chef Matt Hickey bested 30 international competitors to claim the World Pizza Games Gold Medal for “largest dough stretch” in 2017. “It feels great bringing it back to the City of Champions.”

The competition side of the International Pizza Expo, now in its 33rd year, is the largest pizza-making competition in the U.S. and includes bake-offs before judges in five divisions. The winners of each division qualify for Pizza Maker of the Year, essentially the “best in show” award. The five divisions include Traditional, Non-Traditional, Pan, Pizza Napoletana and Gluten-Free. Pizza taste is judged on crust, toppings, overall taste, and creativity; Presentation is marked by bake and visual appearance.

Also representing Caliente was general manager Oz Turcan who placed second among 65 competitors in the Traditional division. Originally from Turkey, “Ozzie” baked a pizza as homage to his country and featured ricotta cheese made from a 76 year-old Turkish family recipe.

“It was a great experience for me,” Turcan said. “It was very tough competition and felt great to finish so high.”

Finishing strong for Caliente was chef Nick Fink who finished fourth in the Pan Division; Hickey finished in the top 10 for longest dough stretch.

About Caliente

Caliente Pizza and Draft House is Pittsburgh’s premier spot for award winning pizza and wings. Caliente is proud to support the craft beer revolution in Pittsburgh and features local and hard to find beer from around the world. Caliente prides itself on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients “Fresh From Pittsburgh’s Little Italy.” Caliente’s pizza dough and sauce is prepared daily from scratch. All meats and vegetables are hand-sliced. More information about Caliente Pizza and Draft House can be found by visiting PizzaDraftHouse.com.

About the 2018 International Pizza Expo

The expo started in 1985 and has grown to welcome more than 7,400 attendees representing nearly 520 companies from around the world. Features business-to-business trade show that puts buyers who are owners and managers of independent and chain pizza restaurants in touch with manufacturers and service providers to the industry. Annual competitions at Pizza Expo include: International Pizza Challenge (bake-offs before judges in five divisions, with Pizza Maker of the Year finals); World Pizza Games (skills competition in five divisions).

Approximately 90 keynote addresses, seminars, panel discussions and pizzeria menu demonstrations take place during the event. More information: PizzaExpo.com. ###