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Now It Can Be Told: What 'Pizza Madness 2009' Was All About

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Click me bigger! [Every Day with Rachael Ray]

Some of you may have seen the stuff on the various Grub Street blogs, the Eater blogs, Village Voice/Fork in the Road, on the Chicago Tribune's Stew blog, in the New York Post, etc. The news that Rachael Ray has found the best pizza in the country.

Yes and no. Every Day with Rachael Ray *magazine,* for the March issue, pegs a best-pizza-in-the-country story to college basketball's March Madness. The story will feature a 64-entrant mad-good-pizza bracket. I'm told that subscribers should be getting theirs as early as today; the issue hits newsstands on February 14. As commenters on the various blogs have wrongly assumed, however, Ms. Ray herself didn't do the bracketing — that was all Ed Levine and me.

20080124-regionalpizza.pngAnd that's what all that crazy-ass traveling I did in late October was about. I did West Coast scouting and eating for the article, while Ed did Mid-Atlantic and South, and we had trusted pizza compatriots score parts of the Midwest and the South/Southwest.

I couldn't reveal what I was up to until the magazine made its announcement. And for now, it appears like the editors there have leaked the final four pizzerias to the media to generate some buzz. As you may have seen they are:

Any info I could give about the winning pizzeria is embargoed. Sorry! You'll see it soon enough.

We're extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Ms. Ray and her team on this project. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience--getting to eat pizza on a crazy-ass road trip. For RR and her team, I hope they like the finished article. I have an advance PDF copy of the story sitting on my desk, and it looks beautiful.

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