Zagros Jaff, 33, made three pizzas in just 70 seconds (Pictures: Solent News & Photo Agency UK)
A refugee from Iraq who works for Domino’s has been crowned the world’s fastest pizza maker after crafting three in just 70 seconds.
Zagros Jaff, 33, had never even seen a pizza before he arrived in Britain at the age of 16.
But having worked for the restaurant chain in Portsmouth for the last 15 years, he has learnt a thing or two.
Zagros wowed judges and a crowd of 8,000 people as he fought off pizza makers from around the globe to claim the crown at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
Celebrating his win, he said: ‘It was a great feeling – I am so excited to have won. I practised for all these years continuously, so it was such a great moment.
‘This competition means everything to me. Making pizzas fast and efficiently is what I do every single day.
‘It was a lot of pressure, but I won, and I’m extremely happy about it. I want to be the best and I love the rivalry. It makes me work harder.’
Zagros wowed judges and a crowd of 8,000 people in Las Vegas (Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency)
He practice for six or seven weeks before the competition (Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency)
His expertise comes down to years of hard work and Zagros has previously won awards for Domino’s manager of the year, and supervisor of the year.
Even more, he also won the chain’s European record for three years running, but he said that working towards this event was entirely different.
Finalists travelled from all around the world to compete. They had to hand-stretch fresh dough, as well as sauce and place toppings on three large pizzas.
The menu included one pepperoni, one mushroom and one cheese – made as quickly as possible.
After practicing twice a week, for at least six to seven, the regional manager hit 70 seconds.
The regional manager said he plans to defend his title in two years (Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency)
This means he can theoretically make more than 150 pizzas in one hour.
Zagros stressed it would have been an even faster 56 seconds, but one of his creations was just a few grams overweight.
While speed was important, it was not the only part of the equation at the contest.
Quality was scrutinised too as judges inspected the stretching of the dough, application of the sauce and portioning of toppings.
If the pizza was not perfect, competitor’s time was penalised or the food was disqualified.
‘This one was very special, as it happens once every two years,’ Zagros said about the championship.
‘You get one chance, and you want to be perfect. I was literally focusing on what that one minute was going to be like.’
Zagros was given $3,000 in prize money, a trophy and a winning belt. He plans to defend his title in two years.
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