The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) has announced the 12 finalists for the 2022 Real California Pizza Contest (RCPC)—the fourth nationwide search for the best foodservice pizza recipes that include the most innovative uses of Real California Cheese. The professional chef finalists will compete in three categories at a public bake-off event in Napa, California on June 22, 2002 for awards and cash prizes that total $30,000.

Winners will be selected by a panel of renowned expert judges including: Tony Gemignani, chef, restauranter, international pizza authority and president of the World Pizza Champions; Glenn Cybulski, certified pizzaiolo and award-winning executive chef; and Spencer Glenn, executive chef at Pizza My Heart and 2021 RCPC Grand Prize Winner. The judges first chose the 12 finalists from the more than 100 blind-judged entries submitted from professional chefs and pizzaiolos across the United States, in the Cal-Mex, The REAL Californian, and Plant-Forward recipe categories. 

“We are thrilled with the finalists in this fourth edition of the Real California Pizza Contest,” said Mike Gallagher, business and market development consultant for the CMAB. “Every contest, the number of entries grows and the creative use of California cheeses expands. Our finalists in each of the three categories—Cal-Mex, The Real Californian, and Plant Forward—have developed innovative pizza recipes that reflect the latest culinary trends and feature great flavor combinations. We can’t wait for the bake-off finals in Napa on June 22nd, which will be streamed live on Facebook.”

The live bake-off finals event takes place at the Culinary Institute of America Copia facility in Napa, California, where pizzas, which all will feature cow’s milk cheeses from California, will be prepared and baked onsite for a blind evaluation by judges. Category winners will win $5,000. The Grand Prize Winner, selected from the three category winners, will win an additional $10,000. All remaining finalists will receive $500 each.



The 2022 finalists, listed alongside hometown and pizza name, are:


  • Ryan Ososky, Los Angeles, CA, Oaxacan in the Motorcity
  • Christopher Lascik, Yelm, WA, El Puerco Verde
  • Austin Buckland, Marion, OH, La Fiesta
  • Marcus Medina, Tracy, CA, Cali Craft Chicken Enchilazza

The REAL Californian

  • Ray Cullison, Kingman, AZ, California Dreamin’
  • Chris Decker, Las Vegas, NV, For the Love of California
  • Jason Garland, Waverly, MN, The Venice Beach
  • David Jacobson, Concord, CA, The Gold Rush


  • Leah Scurto, Windsor, CA, Spear-It of Spring
  • Max Cufre, San Diego, CA, Honey, I’m Home!
  • Yoshiharu Sogi, Sonoma, CA, Sweet Blue
  • Melina Felix, Littleton, CO, Green N’ Zesty

The Bake-Off Finals on June 22 will be streamed on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. PST at Additional details on the bake-off, the pizza chef finalists, and the CMAB are available online at Real California Pizza Contest.