If you’ve ever eaten a slice at Telluride’s Brown Dog Pizza and thought, that’s the best pizza in the world, it turns out, that you were right. Brown Dog’s special recipe of Detroit-style pizza, the Via Italia 313, gold-medal at this spring’s World Pizza Games in Las Vegas.
Chef Jeff Smokevitch earned a World Champion trophy that will have to edge out the rest of the cups, trophies, jerseys and sports memorabilia that adorn the popular local eatery. The culinary whiz-kid is earnest about promoting his beloved Detroit-style pies. This type of pizza is little known among connoisseurs and Brown Dog is the only place in the state where you can savor it special deep-dish, cheese-smothered, sauce-to-the-crust, square-shaped goodness.
This is not the only award Smokevitch has earned for his precious pizza–he took home the second place prize last fall at the American Pizza Championships in Florida. Apparently he was even better prepared this spring to adapt his high-altitude Telluride recipe for the crowds of 6,000 people dining at the World Games in Las Vegas at just 2,000 feet in elevation.
Smokevitch is already back in the kitchen going for another win. “I was honored to come in first place–all of my hard work and developing the perfect pizza had finally paid off. But, honestly, the first thing I thought of was what pizza I would do next year to defend my first place title.”