The making of our Feast Awards issue | Behind the Scenes

Everyone loves the Feast Awards issue. And I mean everyone! You may remember in the past, we chose several dishes from different local restaurants to feature in the issue. Last year, we turned it into a competition. As with any competition, there is judging. That’s kinda why we changed the game—we wanted a chance to taste-test before featuring them in the magazine.

Everyone loves the Feast Awards issue. And I mean everyone!

You may remember in the past, we chose several dishes from different local restaurants to feature in the issue. Last year, we turned it into a competition. As with any competition, there is judging. That’s kinda why we changed the game—we wanted a chance to taste-test before featuring them in the magazine.

The first year of judging featured burgers. How could we compete with that? We thought pizza was the perfect successor. And as a big pizza lover myself, I was on board from the moment we started discussing it.

The hardest part of the whole process always is securing restaurants. Since we work quite a bit in advance, we were pestering local restaurants back at the end of December and early January—you know, the time when every email you send gets an “out of office” reply and nobody knows what day it is because they’re busy celebrating, shopping, relaxing at home, etc.

The second week of January, we finally started to see some pickup in the applications of restaurants wanting to compete in Pizza Wars. And then they just kept rolling in.

Securing the judges was the easy part. Everyone loves pizza. We had people jumping at the chance to judge. Sadly, I can’t be an official judge since I know which restaurants are involved, but that didn’t stop me from eating all the za I wanted.

Judging days were not nearly as hectic this year as they were last. We finally got a system down. Time slots are key, so our judges have time to taste and deliberate on how to judge each pizza individually without feeling rushed.

To keep things official, we made it a blind tasting, and our judges had to fill out forms for each pizza with scores from 1 to 10 in multiple categories along with their comments. We then tallied and found out which restaurant won. See which restaurants made it into this year’s Feast Awards: Pizza Wars!

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass