In The Beginning.

According to most reliable pizza historians, Raffaele Esposito made his historic pizza Margherita in 1889, using four basic ingredients: tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Italian pizza “purists” still regard the Margherita pizza as one of two “true” pizzas, with the other being an older recipe of pizza Marinara (prepared with the ingredients of tomato, oregano, garlic and extra olive oil).

Traditional Pizza As Canvas.

And then, as is the case for most well-loved cuisines, people’s passion for pizza took on a life of its own. It was out with rules and in with inspiration.

Regional varieties and special recipes began to spring up across Italy, from the traditional Neapolitan pizza consisting of oregano, anchovies and lots of garlic, to Pizza Napoli made with tomato, mozzarella and anchovies. Soon after, pizza recipes spread across Europe and into America in the late 19th century, as Italian immigrants began to relocate into other countries for the prospect for a better life. These countries adopted pizza as their own and began cooking pizza with regionally popular ingredients.

Slice by sumptuous gourmet slice, a loyal following grew, consisting of people who loved that this gourmet style of pizza, in all of its adventurous glory, always has one common ingredient: passion.


All In A Day’s Work

Here at present-day Restaurant.Com, we certainly could have just written mouthwatering descriptions for The Dish based on our multitude of personal gourmet pizza experiences and called it a day. But, why on earth would foodies like us pass up a chance to explore the gourmet pizza experience from our friends at Artistic Cuisine for a “work” project?

And so it began.

After a little bit of debating and some guidance from the fine folks at Artistic Cuisine, we placed our order for four varieties that seemed to run the gamut from all-meat to all veggie. [Note: always ask for suggestions when you’re not sure which gourmet pizza(s) to order].


At lunchtime, these delicious pies changed the office activity from business meetings to busy eating. And when the pizzas were gone and the discussions began, we actually learned some things from this lunch meeting. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Dress comfortably whenever gourmet pizza is involved. 
  2. We repeat, dress comfortably whenever gourmet pizza is involved. (Loose clothing around the waistline is recommended)
  3. As with almost anything in life, communication is key when it comes to ordering gourmet pizza. We were lucky enough to have some guidance from the man taking our phone order at Artistic Cuisine, but you may not be so fortunate. In gourmet pizza world, if you’re dining with meat lovers, follow your instincts and/or your server’s advice and order a meat lover’s pizza (or, in our case, two of them). Packed with pepperoni, Italian beef, bacon and sausage, and sopressata, even the most impassioned meat lover will be appeased.
  4. Named after Queen Margherita and made from fresh mozzarella, basil and organic tomatoes, the Margherita is swathed in the Italian Flag’s colors. It’s also the basis for many pizzas served around the world.
  5. The Napolitano is traditionally made with a dough that includes flour, salt, and yeast. Once it rises the dough is covered in fresh oregano, garlic, ripe tomatoes, mozzarella & parmesan cheeses, and baked to perfection in a high temperature oven. Put simply: we loved it!
  6. Our final frontier was the beloved Prosciutto and Arugula pizza. The salty prosciutto is the perfect complement to the spicy flavor of the arugula. And with the freshly grated mozzarella cheese, every bite delivered a trifecta of deliciously balanced flavors.  Artistic Cuisine, indeed!

Ask your server:

And as full-flavored and varied as they are, those are just the basics of the gourmet pizza food genre. So on your next (or first) gourmet pizza experience, ask about some other options like white pizza and BBQ chicken pizza.

From Big Nick’s Pizza in San Pedro, CA to Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza in New York, NY, gourmet pizza is at your fingertips, no matter where you are. And thank goodness for that.


Which are your favorite gourmet pizza recipes? Tell us all about them in the comments section below.