West suburban pizza-making maestro Jack Curatolo earned top honors at a competition hosted by the St. John Vianney Knights of Columbus Cardinal Cody Council #8070 in Northlake.
When Grand Knight John Ainsworth put out the call for local pizzerias to duke it out at a best pizza competition in January, 17 well-known parlor’s rose to the challenge.
A fundraiser with serious bragging rights for the winner, the competition was judged by Northlake Mayor Jeff Sherwin, Police Chief Robert Crawford and Cuomo Catering owner Tom Cuomo. Nearly 100 guests paid a nominal fee to get in on the sampling and even took home plenty of leftovers.
Ainsworth (center) paid a personal visit to Gioacchino’s Ristorante and Pizzeria at 5201 St. Charles Road in Bellwood to congratulate owners Jack and Nella and present them with the first-ever award for best pizza in the area.
Gioacchino’s has been earning high marks from food critics and customers alike for their pizza and other menu items for nearly four decades.
Their stuffed, pan and thick pizzas as well as their lasagna, spaghetti sauce and Panzarotti were voted No. 1 in the western suburbs in a Tribune survey of 98 restaurants. And their spaghetti and meatballs were rated best by legendary Sun-Times dining critic Pat Bruno.