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 20 of 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.

Vegan and gluten-free options will be available.

The Chefs

(Chefs/restaurants are subject to change)

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.  

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.

Head Pizzaiolo Chris Decker

Head Pizzaiolo Chris Decker

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 Pizzeria
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.

Custom Pizza Truck
Chef Bartosz Wawrzyszak
Custom Pizza Truck is an authentic full size kitchen on wheels equipped with wood fired oven to make gourmet Neapolitan style pizza. All glass, subway tiles, wooden prep counter and amazing crew- after 5 years of operations in Europe, it is 3rd year that Custom Pizza Truck Now serves its pizza to Las Vegas residents at the street pop ups and private events.
Italian Graffiti
Chef Marc Marrone
Chef Marc Marrone
Tapping into nearly 20 years of experience earned at world-class restaurants across the country, Chef Marc Marrone brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Nice Hospitality.

In 2019, he successfully launched two of his own original concepts, Graffiti Bao and Gemma Gemma Pizza, in Las Vegas. He merged companies with his now business partner, Reed Slobusky, in 2020. Together they own and operate SkinnyFats, Graffiti Bao in Las Vegas along with HallPass food hall and Snowmobile Pizza in Salt Lake City. Plans are underway to expand these concepts nationally, along with their other restaurant brands, SkinnyFATS and Italian Graffiti, under the newly formed Nice Hospitality.

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.

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.

Mikhail (Kikko) Rodas
Kikko Rodas

Kikko joined Evel Pie in November of 2020 after a number of successful stints in other restaurants and other industries. He was originally hired as a pizza cook, and less than two years later he is now running the downtown kitchen as well as the Evel Pie locations at Allegiant Stadium and the LVMS.

Prior to Evel Pie, Kikko was the AGM at Papa Johns here in vegas and the shift lead at other pizza places in the city, and it’s safe to say that he has found a home in the pizza business. And in particular, at Las Vegas Weekly’s Best Pizzeria (2022).

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.

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.”

Chef James Trees

Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, James Trees’ culinary career began as a teenager at the Mirage Hotel & Casino on the Strip prior to attending the Culinary Institute of America, then rising through the ranks under chefs including Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Eric Ripert, Heston Blumenthal, Akasha Richmond and Ray Garcia. He opened multiple restaurants across the US as Corporate Sous Chef for the Mina Group, and spent several seasons behind the scenes with Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen. Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District is his first independent restaurant. Having succeeded with that beyond all expectations (even his own!), Chef Trees has followed that with two more concepts, the counter-in-the-sky 108 Eats at The Strat, and Ada’s, a place for pizza, ice cream and a cocktail in Tivoli Village.  

Chef Carmine D’Amato

Master Pizzaiolo, Carmine D’Amato, has brought the art of Vera Pizza Napoletana to the valley for over 10 years at Settebello Pizzeria. Born and raised in Napoli, 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. 

Chef Floriana Pastore
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
Chef FRANK 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.

Chris Palmeri
Chef Christopher Palmeri
Pizza Cake by Buddy Valastro
Buddy Valastro
Executive Chef Mitch Emge
Women In Pizza Logo
Alexandra Mortati