🍕 It’s School Pizza Night!

Food & Drink

May 19, 2023

There’s been a startling discovery in the field of pizza research: lunch ladies invented the prototype for the Detroit-style pizza.

Most people give credit for this monumental achievement to Gus Guerra of Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizzeria on Six Mile and Conant Street in the Motor City, but thanks to recently unearthed historical documents, we now know the original square-shaped pies were born in elementary school cafeterias on what we all fondly remember as Pizza Friday.
This secret history is all there in black-and-white in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Quantity Recipes for School Food Service from 1988, an obscure institutional cookbook
Crust Fund Pizza boss John Carruthers found in a discarded pizza box in the alley behind his house.
Whichever whistleblower left it there was probably motivated by Carruthers’s recent runner-up performance on the Food Network’s Chopped. His loss is now our gain, as he will summon all the forces of nostalgia to execute classic School Pizza Night at the next
Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up series at Ludlow Liquors.
Still drunk with power from his
October 2021 Foodball, Carruthers has rejoined forces with World’s Greatest Food Writer Dennis Lee to develop the recipe to precisely replicate your happiest lunchroom memories.
“It’s floppy and bready, yet substantial,” says Carruthers. “I mean, it’s the shape, the smell. The smell is—the first time I opened my oven with a pan of this [pizza] in there, I’m like, ‘This is the recipe. We are done.’ It smells like compulsory Dickens and remedial algebra and your first crush, all in one.”
Carruthers and Lee will offer three traditional options by the slice—cheese, pepperoni, or sausage—and two rule breakers: a veggie special called the Magnet; and the Montessorri, a smoked brisket pizza, with the topping contributed by
Foodball veteran Charles Wong of Umamicue.  
“I’m as guilty as anyone of wanting to do fanciful re-creations and cheffing up dishes,” says Carruthers. “But the really exciting thing here was to dive deep into an actual documented industrial recipe and try to learn it in and out and get it out there as faithfully as possible in a way that resonates with people. I don’t want someone to eat it and be like, ‘Oh, man, you can get that at Oriole.’ I want someone to eat it and go, ‘That’s school pizza.’”
Profits will benefit west-side gang violence intervention organization
Build Chicago. Carruthers and Lee will be taking walk-in orders for individual slices starting at 5 PM, Monday, May 22 at 2959 N. California, but beginning Thursday they’ll be accepting preorders for whole eight-slice pies. Watch for that on Instagram or sign up for Carruthers’s mailing list.  

Rumor has it barman Joel Gitskin is working on a cocktail special you’d be proud to drink out of a juice box. I know that’s a lot of excitement to contain. Try to distract yourself with the ongoing Foodball schedule.

Crust Fund Pizza presents School Pizza Night at the next Monday Night Foodball
John Carruthers and Dennis Lee have discovered the secret to your fondest lunchroom memories this Monday night at Ludlow Liquors.

by Mike Sula | Read more →

The accidental postrock diner
In the 1990s, Jim’s Grill attracted loads of underground musicians with a cheap, vegetarian-friendly menu of American diner classics and Korean food.

by Leor Galil | Read more →

July 2020

How to launch a vegan ice cream company
And how not to.

by Mike Sula | Read more

October 2016

Before the doors open at Alinea, molecular gastronomy is verboten
Grant Achatz’s flagship serves simple, well-executed food during staff meals.

by Aimee Levitt | Read more

Come party with us!

On June 1, we’re celebrating the Best of Chicago at Metro/SmartBar in Wrigleyville. Great food, drinks and lots of fun!


Issue of
May 18 – 31, 2023
Vol. 52, No. 16

View/Download Issue (PDF)

View this e-mail as a web page




Chicago Reader on LinkedIn



Forward this e-mail to a friend.

Want to change how you receive these e-mails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2023 Chicago Reader, All rights reserved.
You were subscribed to the receive emails from Chicago Reader

Our mailing address is:
Chicago Reader, 2930 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 102, Chicago, IL 60616