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Guy Fieri crowns new Cheesesteak Champion at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City

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There’s a new cheesesteak champion in town—Nicole DiZio from Wit or Witout Cheesesteaks.

Taking home the honors at Guy Fieri’s Cheesesteak Battle in Atlantic City, DiZio was among several chessesteak connoisseurs who labored on the lawn of the Dennis Courtyard at Bally’s Casino  delighting patrons’ palates.Guy Fieri, with cheesesteak winner Nicole DiZio from Wit or Witout and her husband Dan DiZio

Cooking up their juiciest cheesesteaks for attendees to taste and judge at the Food Network’s Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, the chessesteak battle has become extremely popular with locals. Participating organizations included: PYT Philly, Wit or Witout Cheesesteaks, Sack O’ Subs, Bradley’s Steaks & Hoagies and Tony Boloney.

Patrons perused the stations and indulged in chessesteaks with long hot peppers, onions, secret sauces, cheese wiz, American chesse, and the mouth-watering list goes on and on. Chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Guy Fieri  hosted the event creating a high-energy environment.

“I tried to make it the Academy Awards of Cheesesteaks! We're going to go big or we're going to go home,” said the energetic Fieri said about the heated competition.

It was only five years ago that Fieri himself was in a cooking competition and introduced to America on season two of the Next Food Network Star. He eventually won the TV competition and captivated the country with his big heart, genuine love for food and wild personality. The success that followed him has been just as tremendous as his legion of fans. The best-selling author has penned ‘More Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’, and ‘Guy Fieri’s ‘Food’ Cookbook.’  

After the votes were tallied, the competitors were individually invited up on-stage with Fieri who announced that DiZio won.

“Oh my God, it’s the greatest feeling ever!” exclaimed DiZio, adding that it was her special combination of a fantastic roll, great meat, authentic Cheese Whiz and fresh ingredients that got her the trophy.

Limited with what she could bring, DiZio says she has even more toppings for customers to chose from at her restaurants.

“We have long hot peppers, we have mushrooms, we have pizza sauce; so many more to mention that we couldn’t bring here tonight we needed to make it simple for everybody to judge us but we’re doing a Philly cheesesteak.”

With a location in Brookhaven and two in Philadelphia; the establishment’s catchy name is actually the lingo used to order.

“A lot of people think its cheese but its onions; wit onions or witout onions; you want whiz wit, American wit, Provolone wit or witout," DiZio says.

Looking into the future, DiZio says she is preparing to expand the Wit or Witout brand.

“We have about 11 stores opening between now and the end of 2011.”

While DiZio is already planning to enter next’s years competition and defend her title, Fieri also has some new ideas for 2012.

“I was telling the event planner, I said next year I want to write and send a letter out to all the cheesesteak joints, I want to tell them hopefully, we'll have a new category of presentation because they're all a bunch of crazies, they're all so into it; have one on presentation, have one on creativity and one on actual cheesesteaks. So, you can go and maybe didn't win the exact cheesesteak; you go away with something else—you got the wildest fans, those kind of things and continue to make it grow because cheesesteaks are their own identity, they're their own uniqueness.”    
 

Contact Veronica Dudo at vdudo@philly2philly.com

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Photo Credit: PhotoGraphics Photography