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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 30th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 8 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 8

Community Corner: Palo Mesa is the best American pie in Italy


Michael Stevens, owner of Palo Mesa Pizza in Arroyo Grande and a member of the U.S. Pizza Team, placed higher than any other American at the recent World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy.

The U.S. Pizza Team recently traveled to Parma, Italy, to compete in the 23rd annual World Pizza Championships on April 7 through 9. More than 30 other countries joined the 16 American pizza makers.

One of these “pizzaioli” was Michael Stevens of Palo Mesa Pizza in Arroyo Grande. Stevens has been a member of the U.S. Pizza Team since last October, when he earned third place for “Best American Pie” at the Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas.

And despite its being his first time competing on a global scale at the World Pizza Championships, Stevens earned the highest scores of any American.

Out of more than 500 competitors, he placed 16th in the “classica” (traditional) category with a tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella, anchovy, and salami pizza. Stevens’ rosemary-and-garlic-herbed dough, smoked mozzarella, wild mushroom, and leak pizza took 53rd in the “Pizza for Two” group. The championships also included such other competitive events as fastest pie maker, largest dough stretch, and fastest box maker.

“This was the greatest and most exciting challenge I have ever competed in,” Stevens said in a recent press release. “Not only was I searching for ingredients in Italian, but it is a different measuring system and the oven temperature was about 200 degrees higher.”

Palo Mesa Pizza, which has two locations in Arroyo Grande, has recently signed a lease for a third at 3536 S. Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo. It is on track to open in May.

More information on Palo Mesa Pizza, including store hours and locations, can be found at

To learn more about the U.S. Pizza Team, visit

Intern Dora Saltzman compiled this week’s Community Corner. Send comments or ideas to the Sun via email at

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