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Too Many Cooks: The Perfect Slice (and a Giveaway!)

April  5, 2013

You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.

This week, we're giving away five Emile Henry pizza stones to celebrate one of our favorite foods. Read on, weigh in, and enter to win below!


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Pizza may be the most perfect food in the world. As New Yorkers, we're a little biased, but it's hard to argue with the happiness a simple, warm, gooey slice can bring. So this week, driven by hunger and an undying love for a good pie, we're asking:

How do you like your pizza?

Do you go for thin, blistered neapolitan pies or inches-thick Chicago deep dish? How do you feel about Merrill and Kristen's great pineapple debate? Tell us in the comments, and you could win a pizza stone of your own! 

More: Try your hand at Jim Lahey's genius no-knead pizza dough.


Amanda: Neapolitan style -- thin, crisp, slightly salty dough. Margherita ftw!

Bryce: I love any kind of four-cheese pizza, artichoke pizza, or a spicy/sweet mix, like the ones Paulie Gee makes in Greenpoint, with hot honey.

Lauren: Deep dish Chicago-style with spinach and mushroom, preferably from Gino's East. And you only need one piece!

Kenzi: I love ricotta, so that's always a winner. Or a white pie. Should we go to Pizza Suprema for lunch? 

Amanda Li: Second Amanda's pizza choice!

Christina: If I'm ordering in, then italian sausage. If I'm grilling it at home, then I get a little crazy -- I love feta, olives, and pickled onion with some fresh lemon and olive oil drizzled over the top. Greek pizza!

Ryan: I like pizza. Topping choices dictated by style:
NY slice: Mozz and sauce only.
Neapolitan: Light sauce, cured meat, blend of cheeses.
Homemade: Fresh mozz, sauce, fresh basil.

Marian: I categorize the way that Ryan does. Neapolitan usually preferred, chewy, blistered, and thin: margherita, or vegetables if I'm feeling crazy. NY-style slices are always cheese, happily eaten from any old place at any time of day (or night).

Jennifer: I'm with team Amanda & Amanda Li -- with olio piccante of course!

Brette: I dream about Roman pizza a taglio -- pizza rossa (with a thin layer of tomato sauce) or pizza bianca (with nothing on it). I had it every single day for lunch when I lived in Rome. 


Merrill: All of these pizzas sound delicious! But if someone held a gun to my head, I'd probably go for a tangy New York slice with the perfect amount of droop -- "plain" all the way.

Michael: I have a childhood love for Cheese Board pizza in Berkeley, CA. It's a white pizza with a sour crust. There's only one type made per day, and it's always awesome.

Karl: I also think of pizza in different categories, but if forced to choose, I'd also go with wood-fired Neopolitan, eaten minutes after taking it out of the oven. 

Maddy: +1 Neapolitan-style margherita made in a wood oven. The more blistered, the better!

William: Preferred toppings are pepperoni and garlic, or mushrooms and onion. Preferred style is wood-fired!

Lindsay: Yet another vote for the Neapolitan style margherita!

Stephanie: I lean towards a good blistery Neopolitan. I think my all-time favorite is anything with sausage, though. Too hard!

Kristen: I can't choose! Roman-style potato or fresh tomato pizza a taglio. Or neo-Neapolitan with mozz, broccoli rabe, fennel sausage, and chili flakes. Or straight-up pineapple (no ham!), slumber party-style.

Merrill: No HAM?? What is a pineapple pizza without ham, I ask you -- other than soggy and sweet?

Kristen: Sooo good, that's what. It's more tangy than sweet.

Merrill: Okay, I can be open-minded...

Kristen: Me too. A truce!

It's giveaway time! To celebrate our love for pizza -- and our love for making it at home -- we're giving away five Emile Henry pizza stones. Be sure to share your favorite type of pie in the comments before Monday, April 8 at 4 PM EST, and we'll pick five winners at random.


Inspired to make your own pie?
Stretch your dough.
Make your Mozzarella.
Add some bacon.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • saltandserenity
  • beejay45
  • janecf
  • Marisa R
    Marisa R
  • Anne Page
    Anne Page
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



saltandserenity April 21, 2013
The Margherita at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, is hands down the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life! The crust is outstanding!
beejay45 April 12, 2013
Too late for the pizza favorite pizza growing up in San Francisco was from Pasquales, hand thrown, thin crust, nice puffy border, and just about any topping combo. But basically, unless it's factory-stamped out, I'm there. My favorite toppings for eat out are pepperoni and olives. At home, cook/grill it myself, it's whatever I have on hand. Kimchi and pineapple are actually pretty good together on a not too thin crust. ;)
janecf April 9, 2013
I usually go for thin crust with anchovies, capers and black olives -- a little overdone but not burnt -- with arugula sprinkled over after baking. When I lived alone I often made small pizzas with mix and match toppings and took the leftovers to work for lunch. Have not yet figured out how to satisfy all family members' topping preferences at the same time and hot out of the oven. Maybe we will have to go back to small pies so we can bake two at a time. Any tips on how to keep a pizza stone from cracking? Mine seem to expire at about 1 year.
Marisa R. April 8, 2013
Oh I hope I am one of the winners...I also love potato and onion pizza
Anne P. April 8, 2013
Love pizza...and love that red pizza stone! I want a lesson on wood fired pizza.
Sadassa_Ulna April 8, 2013
When I make pizza at home the family favorite is margherita. But when I go to Nino's in Hatboro, Pennsylvania I must have a slice or two of tomato pie (Neopolitan style) with pools of olive oil and lots of minced garlic, reheated so the thin crust is crunchy on the bottom.
amysarah April 8, 2013
All time favorite: classic Margherita - thin blistered crust, v. good sauce/fresh mozz/basil, light handed ratio of toppings/crust. But pizza-love is also about nostalgia, not necessarily 'the best': late night at a place called Conte's, as a student; a slice with fried eggplant from the long gone joint on my corner - major craving while carrying my son; smoked salmon pizza years ago in LA (Wolfgang Puck) ...yes, calling it 'pizza' would land me in the slammer in Rome, and blah blah. It was a celebration, by any name.
aaronrishell April 8, 2013
Thin crust, light on the sauce and top it with sausage and black olives.
Annette T. April 8, 2013
just as I became comfortable making a margherita with Jim Lahey's great crust we swithced to a glutten free diet so the perfect pie crust hunt continues
carswell April 7, 2013
Thin, thin crust, pesto, goat cheese and smoked oysters.
JustHappyCooking April 7, 2013
Thin crust, with plenty of melted mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, garlic and basil. Delicious!,
kim S. April 7, 2013
Last Friday's build-your-own pizza party yielded a few great ones, but this was my favourite: sourdough thin crust, harissa pizza sauce, onions, garlic, mushrooms, sweet potato oven fries (different ,but delicious), and a mozzarella/parmesan blend.
cutthecarrot April 7, 2013
If not margherita, roasted eggplant, olives, and provolone is wonderful, especially on the grill.
Veronica A. April 7, 2013
Pepperoni and jalapeños additional veggies optional!
mary M. April 7, 2013
pepperoni with some veggies. my daughter likes half cheese, half hawaiian.
Marisa R. April 7, 2013
I love grilled vegetables on my pizza
For me pineapple is too sweet on a pizza
smslaw April 7, 2013
Thin crust pizza, topped with very ripe figs smeared on the (previously half-baked) crust, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and thinly sliced previously cooked rare duck breast.
smslaw April 7, 2013
Forgot to mention the caramelized onions.
kmorgan April 7, 2013
I love onions and garlic and basil and a good sauce with a nice crust.
Jeffrey L. April 7, 2013
My absolute favorite is my homemade Greek pizza. I start with a dough skin and put on a thin film of olive oil and some minced garlic. Add a heap of fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta cheese, a bit of whole milk mozzarella and a sprinkle of fresh basil.
oasinstoryof April 7, 2013
That sounds fantastic!
Jeffrey L. April 10, 2013
I've had some critics (family and friends) fall head over heels for this one, it truely is a great combination.
Patti L. April 7, 2013
+Thin and crisp, fresh veggies in season, and good cheese, fontina, mozzarella and even a bit of parmesan. Topped with mescalin greens with olive oil and wine vinegar gives it a warm crunch, cool crisp bite that is awesome.