Sarah Rike of Yakima is a born pizzeria. And now she’s competing for the title of fastest in the world | Local


From the age of 7, Sarah Rike of Yakima knew she wanted to make pizza.

And she learned to do them very quickly.

In January, Rike beat competitors from Domino’s franchises in Washington and Oregon to qualify for the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker contest.

The competition, sponsored by Domino’s, takes place every two years. This year’s competition will take place on February 16 in Dallas.

Rike is general manager of Domino’s on 72nd Avenue and Tieton Drive. She started as a cook at Domino’s 12 years ago.

To qualify for the regional event in Longview, Rike competed against cooks from restaurants in Yakima, Selah and Sunnyside. Her supervisor entered her into the competition because he was confident in her abilities.

“Sarah is fast and accurate,” said Sean Jamieson, regional supervisor for five local Domino’s.

Both qualities are essential.

Competitors prepare three large single-topping pizzas – a pepperoni, a mushroom, and an extra cheese. They start by stretching the fresh dough by hand, then adding the sauce and toppings.

Judges look at the accuracy of ingredient weight, placement, and quality. The criteria correspond to the standards for every pizza coming out of a Domino’s restaurant.

The quality of a competition pizza “is no different from an actual order, placed during busy, stressful hours,” Jamieson said.

Rike’s winning time at regionals was 1 minute 36 seconds, including a penalty that resulted in extra time. The pizzas are placed on a screen while the cooks prepare them. The penalty was for part of the screen display.

“We are judged on stretch/sauce, portion weight and placement. If we are overweight on portions or the placement is not up to standard, you are penalized and can get up to a total of nine penalties,” Rike said. Penalties can add up to 2 minutes and 15 seconds to a score.

She won the regional competition with only a week of training.

“Winning means a lot to me because I struggle with intense anxiety,” she said. “So to get up and do this in front of people was an accomplishment for me. But winning just made it more worth it.

When she was 7, Rike’s family moved in next door to Jack McPherson, who was a Domino’s regional supervisor, and he encouraged her to see him whenever she was able to work. Rike has worked for Domino’s since she was 16.

Domino’s General Manager Sarah Rikes practices for a fastest pizza chef contest on 72nd Avenue Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 in Yakima, Washington. The competition requires contestants to prepare a large pepperoni pizza, mushroom pizza, and cheese pizza as quickly as possible while meeting quality standards.

McPherson stayed in touch with Rike, congratulating her on becoming general manager and calling her after regionals.

It meant a lot to Rike.

“I’m not only accomplishing things for myself, but making people proud along the way,” Rike said.

Before the regional contest, Rike had no idea how intense the competition would be.

Timed by a colleague, Rike sweated and ran out of breath during practice. But it helped her learn to handle the pressure of cooking in front of the judges, and she said it improved her technique.

Now she is looking forward to the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker contest in Dallas and improving her time.

“It’s exciting to represent the Washington and Oregon area at the competition, but I’m also very nervous,” she said.


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