It’s here — the event you were always waiting for even before you realized you were always waiting for it.
From Sept. 26 to Oct. 5 Calgary will host YYC Pizza Week, featuring 40 restaurants that will stretch the boundaries of pizza.
“We threw a few ideas around for different weeks and pizza just seemed to work. With this, we could not only focus on food communities and neighbourhood communities, but we could also focus on families and get them involved,” says Wanda Baker, one of the organizers of YYC Pizza Week. “We were looking at different ways of incorporating as many parts of the city as possible and everyone loves pizza.”
Baker says the inspiration for the event was YYC Burger Week, which doubled in size this year, from the initial 15 to 30.
YYC Burger Week raised $27,000 for three charities. Organizers hope YYC Pizza Week can raise even more.
The pizzas are organized into three categories: thin, thick and unique.
One of the craziest offerings is the samba rice sushi pizza — topped with fried sushi rice and salmon — from Blowfish Sushi Lounge. Others are the Classic Reuben — with latka crust, Russian dressing and Montreal smoked meat — from Gruman’s Deli and the Duckonion, featuring a Chinese green onion cake topped with duck from Lava Dining.
Gluten-free and vegetarian pizzas are available, as well as various stuffed crusts.
“We have a great variety because Calgary is so diverse,” Baker says. “Some people don’t eat pork, so we’ve got a diverse range of ingredients, including bison and mussels.”
Despite the unconventional toppings, Baker insists there’s an emphasis on food made by local businesses. Attendees will be given a Monopoly-esque passport to pizza pleasuretown, where they’ll be able to pick and choose their venues and eating as much pizza as they fancy.
“We found pizza places in every quarter, and in places like Kensington, there’s lots of pizza places,” Baker says. “You can try two, you can try 10, but you have 10 days to do it.”
Every pizza will cost $20, with $3 of every pie going to Calgary Meals on Wheels.