Taking home the Pizza Bowl 3 trophy as this year's champion is Coniglio's in Morristown.

They also have three pizza places in Brooklyn, and three in Manhattan, but Morristown will hoist the trophy.

Owner Nino Coniglio, who once taught Eli Manning how to throw dough, came to my New Jersey 101.5 show to explain his winning pizza, and what makes Coniglios the best. The man knows pizza!

We use all unbleached, unbromated flour. A majority of our flour is imported from Italy. The other about 20% is brought in locally; we source locally. We make our own yeast. It's the same way you would have made bread from 5000 years up until the 1050's, lets say. We're trying to create this old-world, New York-style pizza using the ingredients that would have been available at that time; let's say between 1900-1920, and there's a lot of benefits to it. When you make your own yeast, the lactobacillic creates starch resistance, which lowers the glycemic index. So it's almost like this product that's like not fattening to anybody, and also breaks down the gluten.

Johnny Speciale (left), Nino Coniglio and family (right) (Photo: Steve Trevelise)
Johnny Speciale, winner of best Meatballs in Jersey (left), Nino Coniglio, winner of Jersey Pizza Bowll III, and family (right) (Photo: Steve Trevelise)

As much as Coniglios brings back the past, Nino acknowledges the present technology that allows them to do it.

We live in an amazing time where we're not guessing. My colleagues in Napoli, my colleagues in Italy and America, it's not like a 'he said she said' thing anymore because we all got supercomputers in our pocket. So instead of he said she said, now we can go like 'Ok, when was commercial yeast invented? When did it come onto the market? What was available on the market in this year, that year,' whatever. And we can get a lot closer to the product of our ancestors, which is where we're trying to go in a lot of ways.

Coniglio's Pizza (Photo: Coniglio's Old Fashioned)
Coniglio's Pizza (Photo: Coniglio's Old Fashioned)

Nino loves Morristown.

Morristown is a really special place in a lot of ways. I don't feel like I left Brooklyn because I can walk outside my house, and in many ways, because I feel like I can walk outside my house, there's nightlife, there are amazing cafes there are amazing restaurants.

Coniglio's pizza (Photo: Coniglio's Old Fashioned)
Coniglio's pizza (Photo: Coniglio's Old Fashioned)

So how would Nino Coniglio describe the winning pie?

I would say old-world Brooklyn, Manhattan more. I think it existed in New Jersey because there used to be coal fireplaces way back in the day. It's just like taking a hard look at what was available back then. We do fresh mozzarella. We're really proud to use Lioni cheese, we get it shipped fresh every day. We use a chow tomato sauce, it's like a campagna tomato sauce. We do a garlic confit in it, and then we use crispy fresh basil in it, Sicilian extra virgin olive oil, parmesan reggiano, and imported pecorino romano. That's it, and then the ovens we've got, they replicate the exact thermal mass and environment of a coal fire oven.

Now THAT's a winning pie!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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