Steve Dolinsky

James Beard Award winner Steve Dolinsky. Photo by Todd Rosenberg

With 13 James Beard Awards under his belt, one could safely say that Steve Dolinsky is an expert when it comes to anything food-related. Fans probably first discovered him as the food reporter for ABC-7 Chicago where his popular “Hungry Hound” series ran for 17 years, covering a range of food and drink-related topics.

Steve is the producer and host of “Pizza City”—a bi-monthly podcast featuring some of the nation’s greatest pizza makers, and he was previously a co-creator and co-host of “The Feed Podcast” with Chef Rick Bayless, a weekly show that ran from 2014 to 2019 and garnered a James Beard Award for best podcast in 2015.

Steve’s latest passion is proving to the country that Chicago is the greatest town for pizza. His book, “Pizza City, U.S.A.: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town” (Northwestern University Press), took him to 185 spots throughout the Windy City discovering the best places for “slices and squares.” From this book, a fun-filled pizza tour was born that, of course, takes visitors to our city’s best pizza spots.

Besides being the ultimate foodie, Steve also loves biking, reading The New Yorker (but skipping the fiction section) and volunteering his time for charitable organizations in the Chicago area that focus on hunger relief, including Share Our Strength and Meals on Wheels. 

This easy, delicious recipe for a quick dessert, “Dessert Crostinis,” is one of Steve’s go-to’s for dinner guests.

Dessert Crostinis

I like this dessert idea, because it combines sweet, creamy and salty in a unique way you wouldn’t normally expect. It’s also a great last-minute treat as long as you keep a jar of Nutella and some fresh ricotta on hand in the fridge. This recipe will feed about four people.

l 1 French baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (about 10 slices) - you could slice the entire baguette and freeze leftover slices until ready to use

l 1/4 cup Nutella

l 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

l Pinch of sea salt (preferably Maldon)

Toast the slices of baguette until firm, barely browned. Spread each slice with a thin layer of Nutella. Top each round with a small dollop of ricotta. Sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt. Enjoy!

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