First I spotted the old-school carnival-style posters plastered up at foodie hangouts around town. Then I called Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn to get more information about the advertised pizza eating contest being held there this weekend. To my surprise, the woman on the other end of the phone just kind of snickered in a way that was either nervous or sinister. Not sure which. She directed me to Luigi Meliambro, the owner of Cheezy Luigi’s, the Valley’s preeminent gourmet thin-crust pizza joint with locations in both Wakefield, and, as of June, Chelsea, Quebec. Meliambro says this first annual fundraiser for the Wakefield Community Centre was an idea that struck him as a “revelation” while watching the famous blueberry pie eating contest scene in the film Stand By Me. He has confirmed that Joshua Bishop, owner of The Whalesbone Oyster House and Mike Beck from Wakefield’s Soupcon restaurant will be among the contestants. He hopes many more will turn up at the door, lured in by the grand prize: the winner gets one free large pizza per month for a year.
The event has its own facebook page where you can let the Cheezy folks know if you plan to attend, or compete—but it’s not required. Just bring a bib and show up before 1 pm. Apparently there will be a nurse on hand, just in case. Hopefully this will not be an accurate reenactment of the Stand By Me scene, otherwise, my advice: sit at the back.
What: Pizza Pie Eating Contest
When: November 7, 1 p.m.
Admission: $5 (The fee for competing is $50)
Age: All ages
Where: Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Dr., Wakefield
More info: www.theblacksheepinn.com; 819-459-3228
And in some related news…City Bites has learned that our local chefs and restaurant staff love Luigi’s pies! In fact, Meliambro recently started a special program on Friday nights exclusively for them called “Cheezy in the City”. After 10 p.m., he’ll do a final run of pizza deliveries to Ottawa restaurants (normally he does not deliver to Ottawa) to feed the staff at the end of their shifts. “They don’t want to eat their own food,” he says. “I can get from the shop to the Market in 18 minutes, and the pizza’s still warm.” So far Oz Kafe, Murray Street, Moonroom, Whalesbone, and Frescos are among the restaurants whose staff have been ordering Luigi’s late-night pies. So, this begs the question, when are the rest of us going to being able to get some Cheezy delivery?