What is Chicago Style Pizza?


Several years ago there was an article in Vanity Fair magazine that addressed this question.  The article called “Out to lunch with …” featured an interview while dining with a different celebrity each month.  This particular month Vanity Fair was out to lunch with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert at a well known Chicago pizzeria called Father and Son.


One of the first questions the interviewer asked was, “What constitutes a real Chicago Style Pizza?”  Roger Ebert immediately said that there is a common misconception among people outside of Chicago that real Chicago pizza is deep dish pizza, even though probably 85% of the pizza consumed in Chicago is thin crust.  He went on to say that because Chicago has so many Italians there was an abundance of great family restaurants and pizzerias, where everyone could experience homemade Italian sauces, sausage and crusts made from the freshest and finest ingredients and taste the fruits of many families’ secrets.  He also noted that the most popular pizza in Chicago was just cheese and sausage.


So, even though real Chicago Style Pizza will have things in common such as ingredients under the cheese and a pizza bag rather than a box for carry out or delivery, the common thread will more likely be homemade Italian food prepared with the freshest and finest ingredients as the Nicolo’s family has been doing for almost forty years.


Jim Ross (Rossignuolo)