Florinda Albarron of Tomball, Texas, has won the second annual CiCi's Pizza Throwdown, held in Frisco, Texas, earlier this week.
Albarron, a Houston resident, will receive an all-inclusive trip for four to Universal Studios in Orlando, $2,500 in cash and the Crystal Pizza Cutter award. Her name also has been added to the side of a CiCi's distribution truck that will travel more than 100,000 miles in 2012 making product deliveries to restaurants across the nation.
With a time of 23 minutes, 28 seconds, Albarron set a new overall company record and beat three other Throwdown finalists to win the title. Other results include:
- Second place: Beatriz Segundo of Kansas City, Mo., whose 25-minute, 16-second time topped last year's Ultimate Pizza Artist's winning time, will receive a Blu-ray disc player and $1,500. Her coworker, Elizabeth Cruz, won the Throwdown last year in 25 minutes and 29 seconds.
- Third place: Jorge Caballero of Marshall, Texas, who won the quality portion of the competition, wins a laptop computer and $1,000. He follows in the footsteps of his cousin, Martin Caballero of Lynchburg, Va., who placed second in last year's competition.
- Fourth place: Jose Gomez from High Point, N.C., who was the Throwdown's fastest dough stretcher, will receive an iPod touch and docking station and $500.
The four finalists competed in local and regional Throwdown events beginning in September, beating out a field of more than 300 to reach the finals.
Albarron, who has been with CiCi's for 12 years, had a winning time that was 3 minutes faster than last year's top time.
"We had a talented lineup in an exciting, highly competitive event, and we congratulate Florinda on winning the coveted Crystal Pizza Cutter award," said Chris Patterson, CiCi's Pizza director of People Development. "She demonstrates the values and skills that have made CiCi's one of the nation's fastest growing pizza chains. We encourage our pizza artisans to start training now for next year."
Read more about staffing and training.