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Memphis, TN


Gail Wallenta Churinetz’s cooking career began when her husband, Bob, transplanted their family from Connecticut to Germantown, Tennessee in the summer of 1994. When they moved here, one of the first things she did was search for the best pizza in Germantown. Pizza was a BIG part of their family’s weekly dinner. Unable to find anything that resembled the awesome New Haven, CT style pizza, Gil began experimenting with recipes in the hope of developing the best New Haven style pizza possible.

In August of 2002, she started teaching cooking classes at Viking Cooking School in Memphis. It didn’t take long before Gail was known as the “Pizza Queen” for her amazing pies. While teaching at Viking she applied for a cooking competition on Food Network’s show called “Ultimate Recipe Showdown”, hosted by Guy Fieri. She was fortunate enough to be one out of 10,000 home cooks chosen to participate on the show. Never did Gail think she would actually win!

She began doing cooking segments on CBS’s affiliate WREG, continued teaching at Viking, and became a Research & Development Consulting Chef for ACH Food Companies.