Friday, January 04, 2008

Why does my pizza have barbecued chicken on it? R.I.P. Ed LaDou

How did pizza toppings go from pepperoni and mushroom to barbecue chicken, smoked salmon and brie? The trend towards ever-wackier toppings was largely launched by Ed LaDou , one of the originators of the "California pizza" revolution. LaDou, who was just 52, died of cancer Dec. 27 in Santa Monica. Wolfgang Puck tasted the creative pizzas LaDou was making in San Francisco and hired him as pizza maker when Spago opened in 1982. He later went on to open Caioti, and as the original menu consultant for the California Pizza Kitchen chain, he really left his mark on the pizza world. It's not his fault the trend has often resulted in baroque and unsuccessful concoctions -- he was said to say that the only thing you can't put on a pizza is something that doesn't taste good. And the pizzas that came of the early Spago were wonderful, certainly no comparison to a chain CPK pizza today.


Anonymous said...

So are the pizzas at almost doesn't matter what's on them, it's the crust. And the garlic knots, I could be happy eating nothing but those garlic knots. Thank you Ed, this pizza lover will really miss you.

Miles said...

Oh, Lord have mercy, his garlic balls are really to die for (meant in best possible way). Rest in Peace.