Matthew Hyland from Pizza Loves Emily, Emmy Squared & Violet in NYC

Matthew Hyland is the Chef-Owner of three unique pizzerias in New York City: Pizza Loves Emily, Emmy Squared and Violet. Hyland met his wife in college, in Rhode Island, and their mutual love of pizza has turned into a successful series of businesses. At Pizza Loves Emily, they focus on wood-fired artisan pies; at Emmy Squared (with locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nashville) it’s all about Detroit-inspired square pies with caramelized cheese borders. Their latest project – Violet – honors the Providence, RI tradition of grilled pizza, which started at Al Forno.

Dave Lichterman from Windy City Pie & Breezy Town Pizza in Seattle

I travel to Seattle to talk with former Chicagoan Dave Lichterman, a computer science engineer who worked for Amazon for about eight years before deciding to pursue his lifelong passion of pizza making. Dave has two businesses – Windy City Pie and Breezy Town Pizza – where he and his staff experiment with homemade giardiniera, cooked pineapple, sausage ground in-house and candied bacon as toppings, while also using all-natural sourdough starters and other artisan techniques to create their deep, pan pizzas.

Wes Pikula from Buddy’s in Detroit

Steve talks with Wes Pikula, the V.P. of Operations at Buddy’s, ground zero for the Detroit style of pizza that has spread across the U.S. Started in 1946, Pikula explains how this Sicilian original morphed into the rectangular pie we know today.

Justin Bazdarich from Speedy Romeo in New York City

Steve talks with Justin Bazdarich, the owner/founder of Speedy Romeo, with two locations in New York City. Justin is originally from Kansas, but his father was from St. Louis, so all of those visits to Imo’s over the years led to an appreciation of Provel cheese. Even though he has worked for chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, opening several of his restaurants all over the world, he always loved pizza, and has created an artisan pie that is truly unique among his peers in NYC.

Rich Labriola from Labriola in Chicago

Steve stays in Chicago this week, to talk to the man behind his favorite deep-dish pizza: Rich Labriola. In 1993, he opened Labriola Baking, an artisan commercial bakery, which at one point sold bread to many of Chicago’s best restaurants. In 2013, he launched Labriola just off of Michigan Avenue, re-engineering the traditional Chicago deep-dish in a number of significant ways. His caramelized cheese “frico” along the perimeter, is reminiscent of Pequod’s and Burt’s – two beloved brands from the Chicago suburbs.

Daniele Uditi from Pizzana in L.A.

An artisan who learned his craft growing up in Naples, Italy, Daniele incorporates his training from some of the best pizzerias in Campania with his family bakery’s traditional bread recipes. Since his arrival to Los Angeles in 2010, his signature “slow dough” neo-neapolitan pizzas have garnered a passionate international following of celebrities and pizza lovers. At Pizzana, he’s able to create memorable artisan pies with textbook leopard spotting.