A Redskin Gets Stuffed

By Dan Steinberg, Washington Post
Original Article – September 26, 2007

Kedric Golston

Redskins defensive tackle Kedric Golston is a big dude: 6-foot-4, about 315 pounds. “You think he’s just going to pick up his competitor and drop him in his belly,” is how Waleed R. Zarou put it.

Waleed is the owner of Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Sterling, which is hosting this Sunday’s “Pros vs. Joes” pizza eating challenge. The team of “Pros” includes boxer Jimmy Lange, professional eater Ian “The Invader” Hickman and Golston. Waleed met with the second-year lineman to prep him for this weekend’s event, and even made him a pizza. You know, for practice.

“After like three slices I was stuffed,” Golston reported. “He was like, ‘Brother, you’re going to struggle in this competition.’ ” “I wasn’t too impressed,” Waleed confirmed. “I figure if I catch him after a practice, he’ll do more damage.”

“You know, I eat early and often, but not large amounts at one time,” Golston said. “I got guys on my team who just murder food. I don’t see how they do it.”

I mean, Golston has been a pleasant surprise on the line, but I really don’t think he’s cut out for this. He tried downing some Nathan’s hot dogs a few months ago, just to emulate the eating masters like Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi. “I ate like one and a half of them, and I was gonna burst,” he told me.

He’s careful about his health, so his meals are made up of chicken breasts and fish and protein shakes and broccoli, stuff like that. Not piles of pizza. “I’m totally going against everything I believe in,” he said.

Of course, this is all for charity–in this case, East Africa Missions, which concentrates on economic development in Kenya. And of course, Golston will be carried by his professional-eating teammate The Invader; the other two teams will be chosen from the “Joes,” or maybe “Janes,” who pay to enter the event’s raffle.

And even though Golston is presumably not hurting for money, he’ll be eligible for the more than $1,000 worth of exciting cash and non-cash prizes, including Redskins tickets, “if he wants to go see himself,” Waleed said.

Golston admitted that some of his football teammates might be more suited to this happening, which is 10 minutes long and will feature 18-inch pies, double-cut into 16 slices (to make the competitors feel better about their stats). (Also, the event will be emceed by someone dressed like Don Corleone, which might make for a good Golston photo op, if nothing else.)

Guard Randy Thomas has entered eating contests before; Golston labeled him “a legend” and said “I need to call him and figure out how to warm my stomach up.” Former D-linemen Renaldo Wynn and Joe Salave’a were “definitely in the top five” of Redskins eaters, but they’ve both been released. (Demetric Evans, though, is not an eating star; “he’s too pretty,” Golston said.)

He’s thinking maybe he should use scare tactics, try to intimidate his average-Joe opponents. He’s worried he might be his team’s weakest link. “I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water and a lot of bread to stretch my stomach, but it just ain’t been working,” he said. “You know, I’m going to try. If I can do three-fourths of one [pie], I’ll be pretty proud of myself. I don’t want to eat myself into a coma.”

Redskin Comes Out for Pizza-Eating Contest

By Kim Centazzo, Ashburn Connection – September 26, 2007

Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria will hold a Pros vs. Joes Pizza Challenge Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m., at the restaurant, in Sterling.

Waleed Zarou, owner of Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, is looking for average men, women and children to compete against three celebrity guests including World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Jimmy Lange, who was featured on NBC’s reality television show The Contender, Washington Redskins football player Kedric Golston and professional eater Ian Hickman, who was featured on MTV’s True Life: I’m a Competitive Eater.

“I’m hoping a lot of people will come out and challenge these guys,” Zarou said. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5, and each ticket includes a slice of pizza and chance to compete against the professionals. Raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win more than $1,000 in cash and prizes, including two memberships to Gold’s Gym and Washington Redskins tickets and parking passes.

ALL PROCEEDS from the event will go to East Africa Missions, something Zarou and his family have been involved with for almost a decade. Zarou leads mission trips to East Africa through his church, Calvary Temple Church in Sterling. While he is in Africa, he helps men and women with a number of tasks, including economic development.
“The money goes so far there,” he said.

Contributed Waleed Zarou teaches a Kenyan woman to make pizza

Waleed Zarou teaches a Kenyan woman to make pizza

Zarou recalled one his most memorable trips to Kenya, when he taught women there to make pizza, using what little they had to make the dough and cook the pizza. “I taught them how to make it so they could sell it in bakeries and shops, maybe open a café,” he said. This is not the first time Zarou has raised money for East Africa Missions. He has held similar fund-raisers over the years, for the same cause. “I’ve always tried to use my business in creative ways,” he said. Zarou will return to Kenya in May.

Kenyan women learn to make pizza

Kenyan women learn to make pizza

Waleed Zarou, Finalist in Fastest Pizza Maker Competition

Waleed Zarou, owner of Don Corleones Brick Oven Pizzeria places 3rd in national pizza event at the Orlando Pizza Show.

Here are the official results (see original article):

Fastest Pizza Maker
1st Place: John Howe, Domino’s Pizza, Orlando FL
2nd Place: Roger McColly, Domino’s Pizza, Upper Sandusky OH
3rd Place: Waleed Zarou, Don Corleones Brick Oven Pizzeria, Sterling, VA

Pizza competition runs in the family, Waleed’s daughter Juliana participated in the the Throw Dough competition.

Also see original article

Dough Girl Defends Her Title

By Kim Centazzo, Ashburn Connection – September 05, 2007

Juliana Zarou will return to Orlando, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 8, to defend her title as “Dough Girl.”
In July 2006, Zarou was the first girl to compete in the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division. She placed third for tricks, like the “whip,” when she tosses throw dough in the air, catches it, brings the dough down to her bellybutton and makes a figure eight, rolling the dough over the palms of her hands and back to her fingertip. “I was the only girl in the place,” she said.

On Friday, Aug. 31, Juliana Zarou tossed a piece of practice dough made of rubber and sprinkled with flour, called throw dough, outside of her father Waleed Zarou’s restaurant, Don Corleone’s at The Cascades Marketplace in Sterling.

Juliana Zarou practices for the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division.

Juliana Zarou practices for the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division.

Her sisters, Nina, 8, and Sophia, 5, watched her toss throw dough high above her head, under her leg and back above her head again. “That one’s called the ‘under-whip,’” she said. “I made it up.” Although the 9-year-old has been practicing for a couple of weeks now, she said she has a long way to go. “I haven’t practiced as hard as I could,” she said, “but I’m going to work hard over the next few days.” This year, Juliana Zarou is sponsored by Antico Mulino Caputo pizza flour, from Naples, Italy.

The Best Delivery Pizza

By  Cynthia Hacinli, Washingtonian
Original Article – December 01, 2006

College students probably eat more pizza than anyone else, so we asked five college seniors to taste delivery pies from 16 pizzerias.

Pizza 101—College Students Give Grades

Included were national chains as well as neighborhood places that deliver within designated areas. Pizzas were plain cheese—and to even the playing field, we reheated all of them, as many people do at home.

Our tasters were Andy Duffy, Sasha Irving, Matan Shamir, and Erin Zimmer of Georgetown University and Emily Axford of George Washington University. Here’s how they rated the pies:

The winners (a tie): Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria  (various locations; armandspizza.com; $11.95 for a 14-inch) and Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizza (21018 S. Bank St., Sterling; 703-444-4959; doncorleonespizza.com; $15.95 for an 18-inch). One taster summed up Armand’s strength as “perfectly balanced cheese and sauce.” Don Corleone’s had “the deepest flavor” plus sprigs of basil and an “amazing” crust.

Pizza Competition for Children

Times Community Newspapers – October 12, 2006

Children age 12 and under can enter the contest and create a “kid-sized pie” with their favorite ingredients at the pizzeria, where the pie will be baked and judged. Participants will be given one batch of uncooked pizza dough and a selection of sauces and toppings. The winning pie will be named by its creator and added to the pizzeria’s menu.

One pizzeria in the country will be randomly selected to win a visit by a member of the World Pizza Champion Team, who will teach acrobatic pizza-tossing tricks.

Lindsay Olives and The World Pizza Champions Inc. are hosting the contest. Space is limited and registration is required. Interested children should sign up as soon as possible at Don Corleone’s Pizzeria, 21018 S. Bank St. in Sterling.

An online competition among pizza recipes is also under way during October. Anyone 16 and older can enter the contest by submitting pizza recipes by Oct. 31 to www.lindsayolives.com .

For details, visit www.worldpizzachampions.com/lindsayolives.php , www.lindsayolives.com or www.doncorleonespizza.com

Lost Wallet, Honest Employees

On Monday night, July 30th my family and I had a couple of pizzas at your restaurant. Both pizzas were excellent and more than enough of a reason to go back again if I ever get back to Sterling, VA.

However, the reason for this message is to personally thank your three employees who closed the building that night. After eating your pizza, we went next door to Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream. As there were 7 of us, there wasn’t enough seating at Ben & Jerry’s so we sat on your tables outside eating our ice cream. As it was around 9:30 by now, your pizzeria was closed and your employees were busy cleaning up inside.

After eating our ice cream, we drove back to our hotel, the Fairfield Inn near Dulles Airport. It was only after getting back to out hotel that I noticed my wallet was missing. I drove back to the shopping plaza but most everything was closed. We searched around looking in trash bins and dumpsters hoping against hope that we might find my wallet. Tired and depressed, I drove back to my hotel. Convinced the wallet was lost, I spent the next hour canceling credit cards and bank cards. However, in the back of my mind, I was hoping your employees may have found it.

On Tuesday, I called in around 10:45, inquired about my wallet and learned that they indeed had found it and it was being kept for me. I retrieved it later in the day, and discovered the wallet was intact. Nothing was missing. In my gratitude I left a $60 reward for your three employees.

I just want to thank them again and to tell you what outstanding employees you have. There are far too many uncaring people in this world and we sometimes get a little jaded by all of it. Your employees with their honesty reminded me that there are still good people out there.

Thank You,

Ron Young
Providence, RI

Dough Girl Takes Third

By Kim Centazzo, Ashburn Connection – August 23, 2006

Juliana Zarou, 9, practices throwing dough in front of Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Sterling, in preparation for the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division, in Orlando, Fla.

Juliana Zarou, 9, practices throwing dough in front of Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Sterling, in preparation for the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division, in Orlando, Fla.

For once, Juliana Zarou was awarded for playing with her food. For nine years, Juliana watched her father, Waleed Zarou, owner of Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizza, toss dough in the air, catch it with his fingertips and toss it behind his back and side to side. In March, she decided to pick up some dough and try it herself. “Turns out, she’s pretty good at it,” Waleed Zarou said.

In July, Juliana was the first girl to compete in the Throw Dough National Finals Junior Division for the under 18 division, in Orlando, Fla., where she placed third. “She needs to work on some harder tricks for next year,” he said, “but she did great. She’s a performer.”

The day of competition, Juliana stepped up to a basket and drew the No. 1. Even though she had to go first, the 9-year-old said she wasn’t nervous to toss dough in front of an audience. “The stage was huge,” she said, “but I just wanted to get up there and do my thing.”

Under the stage lights, she performed her routine to the song, “Never Give Up.” She tossed Throw Dough, practice dough made of rubber and sprinkled with flour, from the tips of her right hand to the back of her left palm, she knelt down on the ground, shimmied her shoulders and tossed it again. “She has great stage presence,” Waleed Zarou said. While on stage, she said she could hear her sisters cheering for her. “They’re her biggest fans,” their mother, Amy Zarou said.

At the Sterling restaurant on Wednesday, Juliana and her sisters, Sophia Zarou, 7, and Nina Zarou, 4, went over her routine in between the glass counter and hungry customers. “We screamed ‘Go Juliana,’” Sophia recalled. “I could hear them the whole time I was on stage,” Juliana said. Waleed Zarou said his plan is to get all of the girls involved someday.

The Sterling family has made its mark on the dough-tossing community. In September, Waleed Zarou and Juliana will return to Florida, to participate in the Orlando Pizza Show. Representatives from PMQ Magazine, a food industry publication, asked Juliana to perform on the main stage of the pizza show. She will toss Throw Dough with other competitors, while her father competes in the fastest pizza-making competition. Other competitions include the Largest Dough Stretch and Freestyle Pizza Tossing competitions.

When her father asked her about her performance, she said she was going to stick to her same routine and try new tricks next year. While Juliana talked about her next trip to Florida, 4-year-old Nina mimicked her sister by tossing a PMQ magazine from right hand to left.

Miracle Worker

Juliana Zarou works with pizza dough

Juliana Zarou works with pizza dough

Written By 9 NEWS NOW

At Don Corleones brick oven pizza, owner Waleed Zarou is passing on the family secrets. His daughter, eight year old Juliana, is a budding dough-twirling superstar. “How good is she? She’s pretty good,” says her father. Obviously an understatement if you saw this little girl spin the dough.

The dough they toss is actually a rubber disc, or as they call it, a throw disk. But anyone who?s tried it for the first time will tell you it’s a lot harder than it looks. “I just kept practicing and practicing and got better at it,” says Juliana.

Juliana has only been practicing since she was about four months ago. That was when her dad heard about the national pizza dough spinning competition and found there was a junior division, but;

“There’s never been a female contestant in the history of the event,” says Waleed. “That got my attention knowing that I got three little girl.”

Juliana has worked up a routine for the competition. Right now, she practices doing it for her friends. She’ll do it for the judges later this week in Orlando and though this is her first national competition; she’s insists she is not afraid.

“I have a lot people rooting for me and I know my family is going to be there. So I’m not going to be scared.” Of course Waleed Zarou says he’ll be very proud of his little girl regardless of how she does at the contest. Above all, he wants her to have fun.

Sterling Girl, 8, in National Pizza Dough Contest

By Katie Murphy, Observer – August 4, 2006

Next Thursday, Juliana Zarou is doing something no other female in the United States has done before and she’s only 8-years-old. Zarou is competing in a national pizza dough-spinning competition.

Pizza dough spinning is an international sport that has been gaining interest in the United States. In 2000, the first U.S. pizza team consisted of three members. Now, the team has 15 members and a team trainer. The 2005 U.S. team has been featured on television, and so far has won four gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

Caroline Felker, team coordinator, is one of the organizers for the national championship this year in Orlando, Fl. She said Juliana is the first female ever to enter as a pizza spinner. “She’s the first in every category, from the junior competition to the upper division and even on the U.S. Pizza Team,” Felker said.

Juliana said she’s practicing half an hour a day. Her family owns Don Corleone’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in the Cascades Market Place and passersby often see her practicing out front. “She practices a lot out front of the shop so she gets used to people watching her,” said Waleed Zarou, her father and owner of Don Corleone’s.

Juliana learned about the competition from her dad and started training for the event four months ago. Waleed Zarou said his daughter has been around him and his employees while they were spinning pizza dough and she wanted to learn. “She really got taken to it and we’ve had a lot of fun,” he said.

Juliana said her technique for spinning the dough is by holding it on her fingertips and twisting it at the same time she tosses it. She can already throw it pretty high. “I’ve hit the ceiling in my house,” she said.

Juliana can spin blindfolded and is working on perfecting a 360-degree spin while she throws the dough into the air.

Her father said he can’t believe that already she is getting better than he is. “If she stays with it and likes it she could be on the official pizza team, but you have to be 16 for that, so right now she’s being groomed to be the first girl on that,” said Waleed Zarou.

But if Juliana wins in Orlando, she’ll get a paid trip to defend the title next year and a paid trip to the world competition in Italy as the national junior champ.

Felker said the national competition is Aug. 10 to 12. It is divided into two age groups: 11 years old and under and 16 years old and under. The performance is scored on a 10-point scale on three categories: originality, presentation and difficulty of routine.

Originality is judged on the creativity in routine, music, new approaches to tossing, and new tricks. Presentation is determined by the entertainment value, choreographed, smoothness, and the connection with the audience. Difficulty is based on the variety of tricks and the difficulty of tricks. Drops are point deductions for the older age group. Contestants will have up to five minutes to perform their routine. Medals will be awarded to the top three winners.

Last year, Felker said, the junior competition had five competitors. This year there are 10. The pizza spinning competition collaborated with the World’s Yo-Yo Contest this year for both events to gain more recognition.

The competition is open to the first 10 people to register in each division. The registration fee is $55.

Juliana’s sisters, 7-year-old Nina and 4-year-old Sophia, will be in Orlando, too, cheering their sister on. “I have a lot of people rooting for me and my friends talk about it every day,” Juliana said.