For a few days last week, Saugus pizza chef Rodrigo deSouza got to hang out with the world’s best pizza makers.
“Letting you know I’m participating in the World Pizza Championship in Parma Italy, ” deSouza wrote in an email to The Saugus Advocate.
“I’m the only one from Massachusetts, especially from Saugus,” he said.
DeSouza, who runs Famiglia Fornaciari Wood-Fired Pizza in Saugus at 1268 Broadway (Route 1 North), finished 319 in a field of 408 participants from 42 nations who competed in the classic pizza category.
“This year, I presented a contemporary combination of Italian pizza with Mexican taco topping (taco’s pizza),” he said.
“About the championship … This was incredible, pizzaiolos from all over the world in various categories and a lot of exchange of experience. A great learning experience at each event,” he said. “I am a graduate of the Italian Pizzeria Association (2009). Since then, I have participated in several pizza championships and events in Brazil, Italy and the USA (Boston, NY, NJ, LA, Vegas.”
DeSouza founded Famiglia Fornaciari Wood-Fired Pizza in Saugus in early 2019. His pizzeria is located near The UPS Store on Route 1 North.
“I divide my time between Saugus and Porto, Portugal. I have a pizzeria also in Porto,” he said.
The Pizza World Championship, which is held every year at the Palacassa in Parma, Italy, is the largest pizza show in the world. More than 6,500 franchise and independent chain owners from around the world compete in a dozen categories as they aspire to the title of “Pizza World Champion.”