Regular readers of Chicago food media are familiar with Pat Bruno, the Sun-Times’s head restaurant critic. We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog tearing into the guy, for better or for worse, but if there’s one thing with which we can credit him, it’s this: He knows his old-Chicago Italian food . If you wake up one day and think to yourself, “Self, there is nothing I want more in this world than meatballs buried in redsauce and a nice deep-dish pie,” Bruno is your man. Heck, the dude has been contributing to Pizza Today magazine since 1975.
A recent comment on the PizzaMaking.com message board wonders whether it’s not Pat Bruno himself who started the (incorrect) trend of the inclusion of cornmeal in deep-dish pizza recipes. The poster also acknowledges, though, that it could have been another guy — one Pasquale Bruno , who appeared as a judge on the December 21 episode of “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay,” when the show visits Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. When Pasquale Bruno is introducing himself, he says “I write a monthly column for Pizza Today , and I’ve traveled halfway around the world showing people how to make pizza.”
Pat Bruno … Pasquale Bruno… there’s something here, but I’m not quite putting my finger on it. Could it be that the head restaurant reviewer for a major metropolitan newspaper decided to blow his anonymity out of the water by appearing on a highly-rated nationally-aired television show featuring the signature dish of his hometown, with his cover being only the inversion of his highly recognizable name? [Update: Holy crap, y’all, I’m not sure why I heard this as an inverted name, but he just flat-out uses his real one! Pasquale Bruno, a.k.a. Pat. Not even trying!]
No. That can’t be possible. It can’t be the case that there is someone that completely and utterly dismissive of his role as a nominal arbiter of restaurant quality, and the trust of his readership. That cannot possibly be the case.
At the end of the show, Bobby Flay turns to the judges — this Mr. Pasquale and charismatic former Chicago Bear Glen Kozlowski — and says “you guys are the best judges we’ve ever had… you guys should do this for a living.”
Video (the only video you’ll find, as far as I can tell) after the jump.
The judges introduce themselves:
The judging itself (watch for when Bruno/Pasquale has cheese fall out of his mouth!):
Bonus! A high-res image of Bruno is on the front page of the Lou Malnati’s website.
[Major hat tips to LTHForum and My Boyfriend]