Editor's Note: In the few short months since I gleefully took on the role of Slice editor (aka Lady Slice), I've been lucky enough to add Associate Editor of Serious Eats to my honorific. And while juggling both roles has been a delightful exercise in time management, I am extraordinarily pleased to welcome Kate Andersen to the team as Slice's new Contributing Editor. Though I'll still be quite actively involved in the goings on at Slice, you'll begin to see Kate's name peppering the site, as well. And what better way to get to know her than a good old-fashioned round of Pizza Obsessives? Without further ado, allow me to present fellow pizza freak, Kate Andersen!
Name: Kate Andersen
Location: Brooklyn, NY
So, exactly what type of pizza do you prefer?
I think it goes without saying that in general I just prefer pizza, but if we're talking specifics, I like a thin, crispy crust with some char, a fresh, tangy sauce, and sliced mozzarella.
The Pizza Cognition Theory states that "the first slice of pizza a child sees and tastes ... becomes, for him, pizza." Do you remember your first slice? Where was it from, is the place still around, and if so, does it hold up? On that note, has your taste in pizza evolved over time?
I don't know that I can remember my very first slice, but I grew up in Brooklyn eating the pizza from the Court Street location of My Little Pizzeria. It's definitely still around, I definitely still go all the time, and it definitely holds up—it represents the classic New York slice for me: crisp, foldable crust, thin layer of sauce, pleasantly greasy cheese. As to my taste, yes and no; I eat pizza any which way now, and I was pretty strictly My Little's when I was younger (but mostly because it was the best I could do on a kids allowance).
You may eat it any which way, but if you had to pick, do you have a favorite topping combo?
Hands down anchovies, capers, and black olives (preferably kalamata). Briny flavors are the best flavors.
When you're craving a slice, where do you go in your neighborhood?
It depends on my mood, but generally either Barboncino (where they make a pie with exactly the toppings I just mentioned) or Rosco's, both on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. When I lived slightly farther west, in Prospect Heights, my favorite was Amorina.
Do you ever make your own pizza? If so, do you have a favorite recipe?
I do! I have some recipe ADD though—I don't have a go-to recipe for anything, even stuff I've made a million times. It's kind of a terrible habit, because I usually forget where I found the really good ones. But I've grilled pies, baked them on stones, in pizza pans, and my cast-iron skillet—I'll try any recipe that catches my eye.
You say "any recipe", but is there anything that should absolutely NEVER go on a pizza?
Jell-o. Or mint chocolate. But only because those are the only two foods I HATE.
Short of Jell-o Mint Chocolate Pizza, what's the most unusual pizza you've ever eaten?
Ortine, a pizza place on Washington Avenue that closed a while ago, had a pretty great whole wheat pizza with eggs, smoked trout, ricotta, caramelized onions, and capers, but that's about as (not) off-the-wall as my pizza eating has gotten.
Sounds pretty unusual to me! What's the farthest you've traveled for pizza?
Growing up in Brooklyn, I've never been forced to travel far for a great slice, but the farthest away from home that I've had pizza is Tokyo (while studying abroad). I would occasionally stop at a fairly decent Neapolitan-style joint on the way home from school. I'm sorry to say that I was never really prepared to venture in to the bizarre world of Japanese vending machine pizza-crepes.
Understandable. Now: who would you like to see interviewed next?
More of our readers, for sure! I'm looking forward to getting to know the community in the weeks to come, so keep an eye out for inquiries and interview requests—be sure to e-mail us if you want to throw your hat in the ring!
And finally, what do your family and/or friends think of your pizza madness?