For the second consecutive year, Pizza Factory was voted "Best Pizza in Oakhurst" during last Sunday's competition at the Oakhurst Community Center. About 200 tickets were sold, with an estimated 170 people attending the event, which was sponsored by the Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis.
The five competitors Di Cicco's Italian Restaurant, Round Table Pizza, Me-N-Ed's Pizzeria, Pizza Factory and Sugar Pine Pizza Take 'n Bake committed to making a minimum of 15 pizzas each.
It was a very close competition this year. Pizza Factory won by only a couple of votes, with Me-N-Ed's Pizzeria hot on their heels.
"It's an important community service," committee chairperson Bruce Howard said. "The event gets people out to support our local pizzerias, who love to compete against each other. They see it as a way to help our community because the monies raised stay local."
Everything was done to ensure the competition was a true blind-taste test. The kitchen was sealed-off to prevent participants from taking a peek. Fourteen cardboard boxes were marked with five different colors purple, green, yellow, orange and blue.
When it came to voting, participants voted by color, having no idea as to which color represented which pizzeria.
"We surpassed what we did last year," Howard explained, "and expect it to be even bigger and better next year."
There's now talk of expanding geographically, to include pizzerias beyond Oakhurst.
"People really took their judging seriously," Bruce's wife, Lori added. "I heard someone say this pizza is good hot, but this one is better cold."
"We like getting involved with service clubs like the Kiwanis because it benefits the community, and that's part of our goal," franchise Pizza Factory owner Pam Latham said. "This is a fun competition, where we, like the other pizza businesses, get to showcase our product one we strongly believe in so it's an honor to be voted best pizza in Oakhurst two years in a row."
Sears donated the use of big-screen HD televisions and Dish Network volunteered to make sure the televisions would broadcast in high definition so those interested could watch the Broncos/Patriots NFL play-off game.
Kiwanis will use the revenue raised from the event for scholarships to graduating seniors from Yosemite and Minarets high schools, the Children's Museum, Valley Children's Hospital, and other area projects. Last year, $2,000 was raised for scholarships.