The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Two Chicago Chefs Claim Chicago-Style Pizza Is Not Pizza

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Mar 24, 2014 8:45PM

Two prominent Chicago chefs claim that Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is not pizza, while in a strange counter-development, New Yorkers are lining up at a new restaurant that serves Chicago-style deep-dish “pizza” (aka “cake,” if you side with one of the non-believers).

In an interview with Eater about the Jon Stewart-Ramn Emanuel deep-dish pizza wars, Graham Elliot says that Chicago’s native pizza is “absolutely an abomination” and ”a lasagna with a crust,” claiming that “The best pizza in the country is New York.” He’s not completely a traitor, though -- he at least likes Pequod's. It will be a challenge to boycott Elliot anyway since most of his restaurants are closed these days.

Blackbird’s David Posey told Eater that Chicago pizza is not a pizza, but a “casserole.” But that ultimately he feels the debate is “kind of dumb. Kind of a waste of time.”

Neither chef is a native of Chicago or Illinois.

Weirdly, the New York City chef they interviewed, Motorino’s Mathieu Palombino, is the one who admitted, “Yes, it is a pizza.”

Meanwhile, in New York City, a deep-dish pizza restaurant called Emmett's is drawing large crowds in Lower Manhattan. Owner Emmett Burke, a Lake Forest Native, has taken up the noble task of educating New Yorkers on the beauties of deep dish. These initiatives include serving each pizza with an egg timer so that diners learn the proper amount of time to let their giant pizza settle, as well as fielding annoying questions about how long it takes to cook.