The Retail Food Group (RFG) will crown the Gold Coast’s most talented latte artist at the RFG Franchise Expo this weekend.

The Paul’s Milk Latte Art Smackdown, sponsored by Di Bella Coffee, will see the region’s budding baristas and coffee lovers showcase their artistic flair by competing for the title of the Gold Coast’s best latte artist.

The best part? The challenge is open to the general public — coffee connoisseurs and industry professionals alike.

“Over the past few years it’s become evident that Australia’s proud coffee culture is booming,” says RFG chief executive Gary Alford, “with increased consumer demand and a genuine love of coffee.

“The Latte Art Smackdown acknowledges the creative facet of the industry, celebrating the incredible talent of skilled baristas.”

The Smackdown will consist of head-to-head knockout rounds, where contestants will recreate the designated latte art design for that round, with judges given just ten seconds to choose the winner, who will progress to the next round.

The winning latte art design will be randomly chosen each round by a spinning wheel, adding an element of suspense to the competition.

Each round will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including Di Bella Coffee’s Crop-to-Cup executive Michael Anapo and Paul Helmers from Paul’s Milk.

The contestant crowned the Gold Coast Champion Latte Artist will win a $1,000 cash prize.

The RFG Franchise Expo will also see Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar attempt to make culinary history, as they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest dessert pizza.

Putting aside the question of why there is a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest dessert pizza in the first place, Crust has been taking the challenge seriously, training for months in advance of the event.

“We’ve custom made 50 pizza trays for the attempt, as well as a 50 metre gravity conveyor so we are able to move the pizza through the oven,” says Crust general manager Renee North.

“On the day we will have 20 staff members on hand for around 12 hours of preparation, four hours of cooking and then, of course, serving the pizza up to the public!”

The pizza is expected to weigh 120 kilograms and measure 50 metres in length — the same distance as an Olympic swimming pool.

Renee says the dessert pizza recipe has been specially crafted for the record attempt, using only natural ingredients baked from scratch.

“We have created a new flavour by combining ingredients from two of our most popular house cooked desserts; the Black Forest Crumble and our Hot Sticky Cinnamon Buns,” she says.

“The Cinnamon Crumble with fresh berries is a sweet blend of baked crumble and walnut cinnamon mixture, topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries and a delicious cream cheese icing.

“Once complete and measured, we will have around 2,000 slices of pizza up for grabs to anyone who is able to come down to the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre between 3pm and 4pm.”

In the unlikely event that the public can’t conquer 50 metres of dessert pizza sweetness between them, food rescue charity OzHarvest will be on hand to collect the leftover pizza and donate the slices to local charities.

The RFG Franchise Expo will be held this Sunday 25 September at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information, visit rfgconnect2016.cvent.com.