California Chef Disagrees With Supreme Court Judge Who Rules Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Is Not Pizza

What?! From The Huffington Post to the Jon Stewart Daily Show, there is a controversial conversation around the famous deep dish pizza that has made restaurants like Lou Malnati’s, Uno and Gino’s national treasures.

According to Judge Scalia, who grew up in New York, Chicago deep-dish pizza is “very tasty, but it shouldn’t be called pizza.” He says its more like a “tomato pie.”

Jon Stewart said Chicago deep dish pizza is more of a casserole. I get that; there’s a wide range of ingredients that can be layered and baked together. While its similar enough to be classified under the category of casserole, its almost demeaning to say so; it would be like calling Shepard’s Pie a mere casserole or Julia Child’s Cassoulet, just pork n’ beans.

Because of all the controversy, The Huffington post is polling its audience and asking whether deep dish is a “supreme” pizza or an “abomination.” To be clear, Pizza near me for the 53% who voted against it, an abomination is defined as “an object of intense disapproval or dislike”, something that may even be “immoral, shameful or disgusting.” Really?!

For further clarification lets look at the word supreme-“above all others in status, of the greatest or most admirable… greater than any that have gone before”–love that! “Of the highest degree, of the most unmitigated kind,” as in, not lessened in any way–that’s it! Nothing about a classic Chicago deep dish pizza rings of less. No, this is the king of pizzas and everything about it says, abundanza! That’s Italian for abundance! This pizza, is a celebration of the good life! It just doesn’t get any better than this…

Gino’s of course, is the ultimate place of worship and a testament to good times, good friends and celebrates a long history of enjoying the worlds greatest homage to the not-so-humble pie. The interior brick walls have been lovingly decorated with signatures and gratitude from the 1000s who’ve enjoyed Gino’s pizza over the past 5 decades.

Then there’s Uno’s. The greatest thing about Uno’s is that they brought this authentic Chicago pizza style to California where many advertise “Chicago style pizza” but rarely live up to the claim. Though Uno’s is no longer in San Francisco, others now emulate the masterpiece.

One such restaurant that lives up to this bold declaration of culinary magnificence is in Berkeley, California—Zachary’s. I know, because whenever I see the little tag line proclaiming pizza superiority I just have to try it. Zachary’s is worth the trip if you’re anywhere near the bay area.

Though not Chicago style, one of the best pizzas I’ve had in California is in Oceanside. Its made in a microbrewery. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much; the beer is stellar enough to pack the place and the pizza is equally worthy of attention. It’s called The Breakwater and much like Gino’s it always feels like some sort of celebration is happening there.

For those who live somewhere between NY and San Francisco and haven’t experienced a Chicago deep dish pizza, Lou Malnati’s delivers! Not hot to your door, but frozen and its close enough to the authentic flavors you’ll find at their restaurant to make it worth the extra expense of delivery when you just gotta have one.

I may not be a Supreme Court Justice, but I’ve been cooking professionally for more than 25 years. I know a few things about what makes food extraordinary. Though I currently live in California, I had the good fortune of eating Chicago deep dish for the first few decades of my life. If you haven’t already guessed, I say Chicago Deep Dish pizza reigns SUPREME because it takes all the usual ingredients, and presents them in a way that highlights the best of the best. Crazy amounts of everyone’s favorite ingredient and where you put the toppings doesn’t qualify this as disgusting or even shameful. Chunky tomatoes on top instead of thick tomato paste on the bottom has its benefits. If you aren’t a big fan of melted cheese or the real taste of fresh, diced tomatoes this may not be the pizza for you. Chicago deep dish pizza is truly the ultimate comfort food and most certainly is a pizza. Its deeply satisfying because its so real and nothing will ever compare to it in the world of pizza.


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