Erin Nederbo is from the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago where Friday nights growing up were always dedicated to pizza. In 2012, she graduated from Columbia College with a BA in creative writing and her work has appeared on UpChicago.com and in New City. She decided to help create Encyclopizzeria after she met Stephen and the two spent hours debating their favorite pizzerias, swapping pizza related memories, and wondering why two-liters of RC Cola pair so perfectly with Chicago’s pizza. She hopes Encyclopizzeria will help bust the myth that her city is solely a deep dish town and highlight the local mom and pop institutions that the food’s history is built upon. When she isn’t eating pizza, Erin can be found digging through thrift stores, binge watching Mad Men, and drinking too much coffee.
Stephen Beemsterboer is originally from the West Lawn neighborhood on the southside of Chicago, where his family still lives. Since leaving Chicago 6 years ago, Stephen’s love for his hometown has only grown stronger. For him, Encyclopizzeria is a way for him to stay connected with home while currently (and temporarily) living elsewhere. Stephen currently lives in Boston and works as a web developer, while dabbling in many other disciplines including event planning, balloon animals, and obviously pizza eating. He has never, and will never, consider himself a pizza snob—rather, Stephen is a equal-opportunity pizza enthusiast.
Here at Encyclopizzeria, we understand that enjoying great pizza is not a solitary event. Thin crust or deep dish, Chicago or New York style, homemade or frozen—pizza elicits conversation and demands interaction. Our goal at Encyclopizzeria is to connect people with pizza.
Founded by two true-blue Chicagoans, Encyclopizzeria aims to capture the passion and story of pizza, with a special emphasis on its place in the cultural identity of Chicago. We hope Encyclopizzeria is a resource and forum for discussion about pizza and the fanatics who create, love, obsess over, and eat it.
So, crack open an Old Style, call up your favorite wood-paneled pizza joint, and pull up a chair at our table. We’re glad you found the time to grab a slice and join the party.