The Chefs | Las Vegas Pizza Festival

The Pizza

Enjoy unlimited samples of Detroit, Sicilian, New York and a dozen other unique styles of pizza from the city’s finest pizzaiolos, headlined by Vincent Rotolo (Good Pie), Tony Gemignani (Pizza Rock), John Arena (Metro Pizza) and many more local chefs and pizzerias.

The Chefs

(Chefs/restaurants are subject to change)

Pizza Rock by Tony Gemignani

Chef Tony Gemignani

Our first pizza chef needs no introduction.  Originally from Fremont, California, Chef Tony Gemignani is all-time master at making pizza. Not only is he a 13 time World Pizza Champion and a restauranteur, he is also a world champion pizza tosser. You may have seen him on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Food Network, or even Good Morning America.  

Metro Pizza Logo

Chef John Arena

The Owners and Founders of Metro Pizza, John Arena and Sam Facchini, have brought NY style pizza to multiple locations around town and are a staple in the Las Vegas community.  With half a dozen spots around town, chefs like Chris Decker shine bright with unique takes on slices.

Chef Vincent Rotolo
Brooklyn-raised chef Vincent Rotolo lives, breathes, and eats pizza. If you love your slice thin and crispy, Chef Vincent specializes in pan-baked Grandma-style as well as a Detroit-Style pizzas. His restaurant Good Pie is a staple in the Downtown Las Vegas community as Las Vegans everywhere. Vincent enjoys spending his time away from work cooking with his wife Mariana and kids Nico, Natalia & Ana Maria. Vincent enjoys spending his time away from work cooking with his wife Mariana and kids Nico, Natalia & Ana Maria.
Bonanno's New York Pizza Kitchen
Chef Brian Escalante
Chef Brian Escalante has been part of the hospitality industry in Las Vegas in various well known restaurants for 25 years. He has worked for many celebrity chefs such as Thomas Keller at Bouchon, and was a part of the culinary team at Aureole. Chef Brian later made his introduction to Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group when he became the Executive Chef of the restaurant group’s own Trattoria Reggiano at The Venetian Hotel and Casino.

He joined the Bonanno’s New York Pizza Kitchen team as the Executive Chef of the brand in 2020, and has been an integral part in implementing BNYPK’s artisan dough program among various pizzeria locations. Chef Brian has a great passion for the culinary field, and brings outstanding leadership and organizational skills to the kitchen. Chef Brian is excited to keep growing and excelling for the next 25 years in the culinary field and constantly expanding his pizza making skills.

Brooklyn's Finest - Chef Joey Gonzalez
Chef Joey Gonzalez

From a very young age, Joey Gonzalez started making pizza with his brothers Louie Ronnie, and Roger. As he got older, this love affair turned into a passion. After venturing out on his own to create a unique pizza experience, Joey’s biggest emphasis has always been on quality and avoiding cutting corners. That is how Brooklyn’s Best Pizza and Pasta was born! Joey carries on the tradition of true authentic pizza and brings the “Best” to Las Vegas from Brooklyn.

Chef Carmine Vento
Born in Brooklyn New York, raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, since the age of 2, so a Native for sure.

Eldest son to the man who brought pizza by the slice to Las Vegas and one of the Kings of Pizza, Carmine Vento.

Our family has been serving the community since 1975 when we started out as Villa Pizza.

Chef Alexander Quinn

Chef Alexander Quinn is still new to the pizza scene. His dedication to his craft shines brightly as he worked his way from culinary stand-out to Executive Chef of Dom DeMarco’s. Using nothing but the best ingredients he is following his passion by serving up handcrafted Di Fara inspired pizza in Summerlin. Everyday continuing to live by Domenico DeMarco’s creed of making every pie with “love and discipline.”

James Trees - Esther's Kitchen
Chef James Trees
Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, James Trees began his culinary career as a teenager at the Mirage Hotel & Casino on the Strip prior to attending the Culinary Institute of America, then rising through ranks under legendary chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Eric Ripert, Bradley Ogden, Michael Mina, Akasha Richmond and Ray Garcia. He spent several seasons behind the scenes with Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen.

Within five years, his seasonal Italian restaurant, Esther’s Kitchen, has become a local and tourist must-visit in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District. Trees has followed that with the refined East Coast Italian Al Solito Posto, and creative American Ada’s Food & Wine in Tivoli Village. Two more projects are expected in 2024. In addition to a lengthy list of local accolades,Chef Trees was named a Finalist for the James Beard Award: Best Chef Southwest in 2020.

Evel Pie
Richard Verhagen

From his birth in Alberta, Canada, to Mazatlán, Mexico’s creole cooking tradition, to running The Hurricane Kitchen in Los Angeles, Richard Verhagen has an adventurous history in the culinary arts. His journey across countries have led him to a passion for organic, sustainable, bold, and multi-dimensional cuisine. He brings this passion for new and exciting flavors to Evel Pie, spearheading the creation of our Birria pizza, and enabling our crew to dream big and delve
deep into the possibilities of flavor.

Nicknamed “The Hurricane,” Richard has blown in and helped make Evel Pie a unique pizza destination on Fremont St, at the Speedway, and in Allegiant Stadium. His managerial talents, fostered by years in hospitality and kitchens alike, means he inspires and uplifts staff with the experience and expertise that comes from a mix of traditional kitchens and entrepreneurial exploration. What new, decadent flavors will Richard bring to our space? Only time and one Evel company knows.

Evel Pie
Izzy's Pizza Bus - Chef Brett Geiger
Brett Geiger
Brett Geiger started making pizza as a passion project in 2018, and quickly fell in much deeper than first anticipated. He built and opened Izzy’s Pizza Bus in 2019 in Las Vegas, quickly gaining recognition for their Detroit Style pizzas made in a converted school bus. Izzy’s moved to Omaha, Neb., in 2022 but still has an amazing Las Vegas fan base they stay in touch with. He’s still new to the pizza game, but with each pizza cooked is a new lesson learned, and this delicious journey is still only at its beginning.
Landini's Pizzeria - Logo
Johncarlo Ferraiuolo
Johncarlo Ferraiuolo began his love of cooking at the age of 8 when he made his first pizza in his father’s New York restaurant. Ferraiuolo grew up bouncing between the pizza capitals of the world (Naples, Italy and NY), which inspired his love of the culinary arts. His California restaurant journey began in 2009 when he moved to San Diego and partnered with several notable pizzerias. During his time at one, Caffè Calabria, he became certified through AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana), making himself and Calabria the first to be certified in San Diego. Johncarlo’s 32 years in the restaurant business have led to the opening of Blade 1936 in Oceanside in 2019, which became only the second pizzeria in SD to be AVPN certified and was also awarded Best Pizza in SD 2020. Today, Johncarlo has teamed up with Leonardo and Chrisine Landini, of Landini’s Group and opened PB’s hottest new Napoletana pizzeria, “Scuderie Italia” and Las Vegas’ New York style pizza, Landini’s Pizzeria, the third location outside San Diego. Ferraiuolo’s passion for Pizza is unparalleled, so look out for our Maestro Pizzaiolo, because he is just warming up his engine.
Old School Pizzeria
Chef Gio Mauro

Chef Giovanni Mauro is a local pizza star who’s got a love and a passion for quality ingredients. Stepping inside of Pizzeria Monzú transports you back to old Italy. The open kitchen overwhelms your senses with the sight and aromas of classic Italian cooking.

Pizza Cake by Buddy Valastro
Chef Bryan Forgione
Bryan Forgione

In 2008, Bryan Forgione headed West to Las Vegas to work with Wynn Resorts where he established himself as Executive Chef at Society Café, named one of 2009’s Top 20 Best New Restaurants by “Esquire Magazine,” after working a number of years under Chef Kim Canteenwalla of Blau + Associates. In 2013, Bryan teamed up again with Blau + Associates and Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro to open Buddy V’s Ristorante located in the Venetian Resort Las Vegas, where he holds the title as Executive Chef.

Custom Pizza Truck
Chef Ricky Lewis and Ryan Perras

Rebellion Pizza is owned and operated by longtime friends and co-workers Ryan Perras and Ricky Lewis. In 2004, Ryan started his first restaurant job as a Host at the Macaroni Grill in his neighborhood. Ryan stayed for over 6 years and gradually learned nearly every position in the restaurant. Ricky had worked for several restaurants and a local pizzeria, Tony’s II for 5 years. Ricky ran the pizza shop through high school and college until he joined the Nevada National Guard in 2004.

Ricky and Ryan met at the opening of a Yard House as a part of the wait staff. Ryan and Ricky had been quietly drafting a road map to their success…
In May 2021, Rebellion Pizza opened in Henderson, Nevada.

Chef Carmine D’Amato

Carmine D’Amato, Master Pizzaiolo, has brought the art of Pizza Napoletana to the valley for over 15 years at Settebello Pizzeria. Born and raised just outside of Napoli, Italy, his creativity is fueled by old world traditions and flavors that transport you back to the streets of Naples. Carmine and Settebello have been featured on Food Networks Unique Eats and draw pizza lovers from all walks of life together.

8 times World Pizza Champion Chef Floriana
Chef Floriana Pastore

Floriana Pastore was born and raised in Salerno, near Naples, Italy. Inspired by the tradition of her homeland, pizza is Floriana’s greatest passion. She is 8 times World Pizza Champion and very well known in the pizza industry. After working in kitchens worldwide, Chef Floriana decided to start 2020 with a new adventure. Along with her family, Floriana moved to Las Vegas with the desire to create her first Italian pizzeria on wheels. Floriana is currently the owner and head Chef at Signora Pizza. Signora Pizza is a one of a kind mobile pizzeria that was designed and built in Italy before being shipped to the United States. The pizzeria is housed in a twenty-foot container that has been modified into a full functioning kitchen. The mobile pizzeria features a wood fired oven that can be admired by all of our customers through a glass wall. They offer Neapolitan pizza together with the oldest and most popular Neapolitan Street Food like Pizza Fritta and Pizza Portafoglio (Wallet Pizza). Signora Pizza was nominated at Las Vegas Weekly’s “BEST PIZZA REINVENTION” Best of Vegas 2022.

Superfrico Italian American Psychedelic
Executive Chef Mitch Emge
Executive Chef Mitch Emge
Executive Chef Mitch Emgee of Spiegelworld fame is no stranger to making pizzas with pizzazz. His restaurant, Superfrico, prides itself on their Detroit-Style sourdough pizza and their Italian American Psychedelic flair. Whether it’s honey in your pepperoni or pistachio in your mortadella, Chef Mitch loves to surprise and delight with the freshest ingredients and greatest attention to detail.
Women In Pizza Logo
Madisen Saglibene
Madisen Saglibene
Meet Madisen Saglibene, the unconventional owner of Pizza Stone’d in Las Vegas. Specializing in catering, Madisen leads multiple teams using various brick ovens to bring unique and fun pizzas to the people of Las Vegas. She’s a proud member of “Slice Out Hunger” and actively donates pizzas to community groups across the valley.
Dani Garcia from Yukon Pizza - Women in Pizza
Dani Garcia-White
Dani Garcia-White began her pizza journey at Yukon in Las Vegas. During the pandemic, Garcia-White started making pizzas and selling them on instagram, along with her brother-in-law Cameron and friend/chef Justin Ford. In December 2020, Yukon Pizza joined the incubator space Vegas Test Kitchen and, two years later, Yukon Pizza opened their own brick and mortar in the historic Huntridge Neighborhood. During this nearly five-year pizza journey, Garcia has found a passion for making pizza and the pizza business.
Dani Garcia from Yukon Pizza - Women in Pizza
Adriana Davis

Adriana Davis’, Head Chef at Double Zero Pie & Pub, love for food started as a young girl she when was inspired by her Mother and Aunts cooking on her Grandfathers farm. Through these memories Adriana found her passion for the culinary arts.Upon the transition to Las Vegas, Adriana’s eyes and palate were exposed to so many award-winning chefs and restaurants. Through a friend and a co-worker, Adriana was introduced to world champion Pizzaiolo Michael Vakneen, who has taken Adriana under his mentorship and helped her grow as a leader and amazing pizzaiolo. Here she is leading an amazing team making some of the best pizza in the city.

Chef Adriana shared, “My time here at Double Zero has been an extraordinary experience, Chef Michael has taken me under his wing and we are so excited about what direction the restaurant is headed, our growth and evolution. We have set some pretty big goals we want to achieve; to be recognized in the world top 50, not only for pizza but as a restaurant, catch the attention of the James Beard Foundation, put ourselves on the map. We are looking forward to taking the world by storm.” 

Yukon Pizza
Alex White - Yukon Pizza
Alex White

Alex White is a Las Vegas resident of 16 years, and the 5th generation heir of a family sourdough starter dating back to the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon Territory, over 125 years ago. He spent a decade working in the film and television industry, while also building his skills as a backyard pizza maker. When the pandemic happened Alex, his wife Dani, brother Cameron, and good friend Chef Justin Ford made the decision to jump from backyard pizza makers to a full on brick and mortar restaurant.