**In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’ll be posting about women in the pizza community every few days this month. The pizza biz is pretty male-dominated, so let’s take this opportunity to throw the spotlight onto some of the women who are doing amazing work in the pizza world.
This week is the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, where thousands of pizzeria owners, operators, suppliers, and supporters converge in a convention center for several days of pizza insanity. One of my favorite events is the International Pizza Challenge, in which pizza makers from all around the world show off their skills in a competition for prize money and notoriety. I’ve been judging this competition for years now and can’t remember a time I didn’t see Floriana Pastore in the finals.
A native of Salerno, Pastore has taken home several Italian pizza championships in her 20 years in the business. In fact, she was the first woman in history to win the IPC competition. I was honored to have been a judge when she won Best of the Best at the 2015 Pizza Expo. Beyond the awards, Pastore represents leading ingredient companies through her position at Emirates Snack Foods.