Business & Real Estate

Sweet dreams are made of cheese: Los Altos State of Mind owner Lars Smith wins spot on pizza team


Courtesy of Jim Smith
Public House and Pizzeria owner Lars Smith holds the pizza that won him first place in the United States Pizza Team’s competition in Cleveland in November. The victory enabled Smith to participate in the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy, set to take place next week. Smith and the rest of the U.S. team will compete against pizza makers from around the world in 55 categories.

Los Altos’ State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria owner Lars Smith is perfecting his recipes before he jets off to Parma, Italy, to compete in the World Pizza Championship, according to his father, Jim.

After winning first place at the United States Pizza Team’s competition in Cleveland in November, Smith qualified to compete alongside 18 other members of the U.S. team for the world title in Parma. The event is scheduled Thursday through April 11.

According to a press release from the U.S. Pizza Team, a number of veterans of the competition in the “Food Valley of Italy” will bring their skills, as well as rookies like Smith. This year’s team is one of the largest the U.S. has fielded.

The U.S. Pizza Team competes in various “trials” across the country in advance of the World Pizza Championship. The trials, the team’s press release stated, are designed to mimic the Italian event to prepare competitors in events such as Pizza Classica, Pizza in the Pan, Pizza on the Peel, Gluten-Free, Neapolitan and 50 other categories.

Other competitors traveling to Italy who hail from California include Ali Haider of 786° in Sun Valley, Constantino and Peter Anezinos of Zorba’s Pizza in Millbrae, Leah Scurto of Pizza Leah in Healdsburg, Michael Stevens of Palo Mesa Pizza in Arroyo Grande and Michael Athanasopoulos of The Lamb & The Wolf in Rockville.

For more information on the World Pizza Championship and to follow the U.S. team, visit uspizzateam.com.

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