The family that owns and cooks at Chicago's Italian Fiesta Pizzeria, which has a location in President-elect Barack Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood, is being flown out to D.C. to cook up a batch of its thin-crust pies. The pizzas will be featured in a preview of the food to be served at Obama's January 20 inauguration.
Italian Fiesta Pizzeria makes Mr. Obama's favorite pizza, as was mentioned in an entry on his site.
As Patti Harris-Tubbs, co-owner (along with her two sisters) of Italian Fiesta, told the Joliet Herald News, "My first response was, 'Is this a joke?'"
Harris-Tubbs speculates that the pizza won't be served at any of the fancy inauguration events but rather dished out somewhere less glamorous, such as the press tent. (So much for the media elite.)
Harris-Tubbs and her husband will fly out, with secret ingredients in tow, to coordinate with the Ritz-Carlton on re-creating the joint's pizza.
In reading the article, you get the idea that Michelle Obama was the one who introduced Barack Obama to the pizza, as one of Harris-Tubbs' sisters ran into Michelle Obama at an event:
"I just approached them and Michelle got very excited," [Kathy] King recalled. "She said she had grown up on that pizza. Her parents used to reward her with the pizza for good grades."
And that pretty much explains how this pizza became so beloved in the Obama household.
Italian Fiesta Pizzeria
1400 East 47th Street, Chicago IL 60653 (map)
And, for more on Chicago pizza, our man Daniel Zemans has the skinny: