Steve Dolinsky, 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter and current ABC 7 Chicago “Hungry Hound” host embarked on a quest to find the best pizza in Chicago, and lived to tell the tale. Launching on September 15, 2018, Dolinsky’s debut book “Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town” will prove that The Windy City is more than just a deep-dish town. In honor of the book launch, Dolinsky will be kicking off 101 Days of Pizza; a celebration of his favorite pizzas in a number of cities across the U.S., as well as a few previews from the book, highlighting a new pizzeria each day on Instagram.
Beginning with a foreword written by acclaimed chef (and self-described pizza fanatic) Grant Achatz (Alinea, Next, The Aviary), the book aims to educate readers on Chicago’s lesser known, but more widely beloved styles of pizza, such as tavern-style, which is square cut, thin, and crispy. This style, more than any other, is what Dolinsky claims is truly “Chicago style” pizza since it’s the version most locals eat on a daily basis. “Deep-dish is to Chicago what Times Square is to New York,” he says. “It’s a must-visit for tourists, or an occasional treat you bring your out-of-town friends to see.”
As a result of his research for the book, Dolinsky created Pizza City, USA Tours, which launched on May 19, 2018. The family-friendly tours allow both locals and tourists to visit four different pizzerias, showcasing four unique styles of pizza in about three hours. A breakdown of the tour schedule is as follows:
· Chicago Pizza Bus Tour – Saturdays from 11am-2:30pm (usually led by Steve)
· West Loop Pizza Walk – Saturdays from 11am-2pm
· Wicker Park/ Bucktown Pizza Walk – Sundays from 11am-2pm
· West Town Pizza Walk – Saturdays from 3-5:30pm
Led by a team of pizza experts (dough-cents) and Dolinsky himself, each tour explains the history of Chicago pizza, shares unique features of each pizzeria participant, lets guests tour the kitchen, meet the owners and hear their stories, and includes plenty of pizza tasting. Tickets can be purchased on the Pizza City USA website.
For more information on the book or pizza tours, please visit www.pizzacityusa.com, and follow the #101DaysofPizza on Twitter @PizzaCityTours and Instagram @PizzaCityUSA.
About “Pizza City USA”
Steve Dolinsky had seen one too many “7 Hottest Pizza Places in Town” listicles online, when he decided to take the task upon himself. Rather than rely on dubious, biased pizza reviews, he made it his mission to tackle as many places as he could in the city and suburbs, all while documenting the good, the mediocre and the downright overrated. Over the course of a year, he managed to sample pizzas from 185 locations, whittling it down to his top 101 spots. The research led to two major epiphanies: first of all, Chicago is a “thin” town, since most of the pizzerias in the region specialize in “tavern-style” pizza that’s square-cut, thin and crispy. Second, the reason the Windy City is “Pizza City, USA,” is because there are 10 distinctive styles of pizza, rather than the paltry five they have in New York. In order to prove his point, Steve also tackled 55 places in the New York City region over the course of four months, just so he would have a broader understanding of the similarities and differences between the two cities. The book features Steve’s top 5 choices in every major category, separated by city and suburbs.
About Steve Dolinsky
Steve Dolinsky has won 13 James Beard Awards for his TV, radio and podcast work. Currently, he is the Food Reporter for ABC 7 – Chicago. His “Hungry Hound” reports air on the ABC 7 News at 11 a.m. on Fridays and 10 p.m. on Saturdays, covering a range of food and drink-related topics. He is the Co-Creator/Host of The Feed Podcast with Chef Rick Bayless (which garnered a Beard award in 2015 for best podcast) and also writes occasionally about food in the travel sections of the Chicago Tribune and Canada’s Globe and Mail. Steve is also a frequent contributor to Public Radio International’s “The World.”
Before joining ABC 7, Steve was Executive Producer and Host of “Good Eating.” The weekly, half-hour show aired on CLTV, the 24-hour cable news channel owned by The Tribune Company. He produced and hosted 52 shows per year for 8 years, garnering six Beard Awards for his work there.
You can follow his eating adventures on Twitter and Instagram @stevedolinsky.