"It was kind of exciting for us. We were all cheering for him. He was on the big screen and everything," says Shannon O'Neill of O'Neill's Pizza Pub in the Crossroads Shopping Center.
Cam Kvittem of O'Neill's soared to second place in a pizza tossing contest at the U.S. Foods industry show in the Twin Cities earlier this month.
"If he had been able to use to the dough for our cracker crust, I'm sure Cam would have gone all the way to first," says O'Neill.
He had to use the officially sanctioned "Throw Dough," which is used at all professional pizza competitions.
This is not your mother's pizza dough tossing. This is a true athletic competition.
To set the stage, the "Food Fanatics" convention featured a dough throwing demonstration by the official U.S. Pizza Team. Yes, there really is a U.S. Pizza Team, which travels around the circuit of official dough tossing competitions.
This culinary sport puts a new spin on pizza preparation with fancy moves, spins and elaborate routines.
Once the dough pros left the state, Minnesota's best pizza slingers stepped up to show what they could do. The big crowd of hopefuls quickly thinned out as the panel of judges trimmed out the less graceful of the pizza throwers.
Soon it came to down to the final three, the O'Neill's crowd cheering Kvittem.
"He can do it all…rolling it down his back and the fancy throws," she says. "That's what the free-style contest comes down to…who can do the most tricks."
His moves impressed the panel, which awarded Kvittem the silver pepperoni medal (OK. I made the pepperoni medal up).