"Taking second place was not an option," Tran says. "This competition brings out my competitive nature. I brought speed and confidence to the table to defend my title. I came here to take first place, and I did."
The finalists represented Domino's Pizza stores from around the world, as far away as India. They had to hand-stretch fresh dough, pizza sauce, and top three large pizzas--one pepperoni, one mushroom, and one cheese--as quickly as possible. While speed was important, it was only part of the recipe. Quality was scrutinized as two judges highly qualified in Domino's standard pizza-making practices inspected the stretching of the dough, application of the sauce, and portioning of toppings during the competition. If the pizza was not perfect, it was returned to the competitor who remade the entire pizza, while still being timed.
Tran has been a Domino's team member for 18 years. A returning champion, Tran won the 2006 World's Fastest Pizza Maker title with a time of 55 seconds and the 2007 title with a time of 49.1 seconds. His 2008 time of 46.4 seconds sets a new world record for Domino's Pizza.
Domino's began the "World's Fastest Pizza Maker" competition in 1982 to honor pizza makers who best exemplify the company's philosophy of keeping efficiency in the store to allow sufficient time for safe, timely pizza delivery.
"Domino's Pizza is extremely proud to employ the fastest pizza makers in the world," Brandon says. "The World's Fastest Pizza Maker competition emphasizes our commitment to safely delivering piping hot, great-tasting pizzas to our customers' doors as quickly as possible."
Runners up included Pali Grewal from England, who took second place with a time of 47.9 seconds and Emmanuell Dicks from North Old Tow, Virginia, who took third place with a time of 49.1 seconds.
The "World's Fastest Pizza Maker" competition was held at the Towsley Auditorium on the campus of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.