A Slice With: Chef Shane Solomon of Pizzeria Stella, Philadelphia

Chefs love pizza too. So we're chatting up chefs from around the country about their favorites, their home-pizzamaking habits, and their beloved childhood pizza memories. Today's victim: chef Shane Solomon of Pizzeria Stella in Philadelphia.

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[Photographs: Pizzeria Stella]

What pizzas did you eat and love as a kid?

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to hang out all the time at the local pizza place. We would get plain slices, and I don't know why, but we would cover it in garlic powder. I mean like half a bottle to a whole pizza. We loved it, but now it seems so disgusting. A lot of kids are pretty stupid and I was no exception.

Ha! What's the greatest pizza you've had in recent memory? (I assume you didn't douse it in garlic...)

I made it to Di Fara for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The pizza was great, as a lot of people already know, but Dominick DeMarco blows my mind. The idea that he has made every pizza coming out of there for 45 years! Unbelievable. That's passion, and the world could use a few more of him.

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Where do you go regularly for pizza these days?

My regular spot for pizza is work. I have a Renato oven and any ingredient I want!

What's your favorite topping combination?

Right now I'm into fennel and anchovies, they go well with a lot of other ingredients but something about those two together has me stuck.

Is there anything you would NEVER eat on a pizza?

When I first started cooking I worked at a place that served a dessert pizza. It was a bad idea to begin with, but they used to pour a lot of powdered cinnamon on it, add apples, chocolate, nuts, probably some candy, (I've erased it from my memory) and topped it off with ice cream...you get the idea. I like apple pie, but this was no apple pie. So I guess I won't be eating that any time soon.

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