a man on a mission
Since 2017, Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter, currently “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 Chicago – has made it his mission to dispel myths and show the world there is more to the Windy City than just deep-dish, stuffed or tavern-style pies. He’s written two books on the subject, launched a weekly tour business, produces and hosts a bi-monthly podcast and is now taking the next logical step – creating a series of pizza festivals with three objectives in mind: showcase a region’s unsung pizza artisans; educate and inform the public on how to make better pizza at home and what goes into great pizza; finally, to give back to the community through charitable partnerships. Join him at the Los Angeles festival April 29-30 at L.A. Live. Here’s a highlight reel from our event in Chicago:
The first Pizza City Fest brought together 40 of the region’s best pizza makers for two days of pizza making and appreciation in 2022, all in one location – Plumber’s Union Hall in the West Loop (1401 W. Randolph St., Chicago). Thanks to 10 PizzaMaster ovens on-site, guests were able to see each pizzamaker create, bake and serve up their remarkable pies right in front of them.
In Chicago, attendees took in a series of highly curated seminars and panel discussions with some of the country’s greatest pizza makers. For instance, our “Dough Whisperers” panel was a Who’s Who of American pizza: Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix), Dan Richer (Razza, Jersey City), Tony Gemignani (Tony’s, San Francisco) and Laura Meyer (Capo’s & The International Pizza School, San Francisco). Moderating this panel was Francisco Migyoa, the Executive Chef and Co-Author of “Modernist Pizza,” the massive three-volume work that came out in late 2021. Other panels included “Women in Pizza,” “Who Really Created Deep-Dish?” and “How to Make Great Pizza at Home.”
In Los Angeles, we’ll have another 40 unique pizzerias from all over Southern California. Steve has curated a stellar lineup from Santa Barbara down to San Diego, with several different styles, including Sicilian, artisan, Neapolitan, Detroit and even a few classified as “L.A. Style.” We’ll also have a special “Collab Lab” featuring mashups between great independent bakers and artisan produce suppliers.
In Los Angeles, we’ll feature another “Dough Whisperers” panel, this time with Daniele Uditi (Pizzana) and Evan Funke (Felix, Mother Wolf), plus demos on pan pizza at home, a conversation with the Producer of “A Chef’s Table: Pizza” and a panel discussion on how to build a pizza brand with five guys who’ve succeeded in transforming an idea into a brand.