UPDATE: Dayton-born pizza chef makes strong effort on ‘Chopped’



Dayton-born pizza chef Miriam Weiskind made a strong effort on the Tuesday, March 28 episode of “Chopped” on the Food Network.

She competed for $10,000 in the “Wanna Pizza Me?” pizza showdown episode of “Chopped” alongside three other pizza connoisseurs.

“From toothsome toppings to delicious dough, every bite matters when making pizza magic,” the episode’s description said. “In the appetizer round, the chefs discover that a notorious pizza topping is a mandatory ingredient! The competitors who make it through to the entrée round are glad that they can continue to proudly rep their particular pizza styles. Finally, pineapple on pizza is a controversial thing, but maybe it won’t cause such a fuss in the dessert basket.”

Weiskind went home after the first round where the four contestants had to make an appetizer pizza including charcuterie cones, carrots, frozen mozzarella sticks and white anchovies. Each pizza chef opted to create a different style pizza, including tavern-style, Detroit-style, New York-style and Roman-style.

“I am the queen of taking mystery ingredients and finding a way to put them on pizza,” Weiskind said when judges asked her why she’s the chef to beat.

She made a New York-style, three-cheese pizza and used the white anchovies to create a white cream sauce. She struggled to get her pizza in the oven in time to cook, but ultimately presented a pizza the judges enjoyed. They warned her of using ingredients from outside of the “Chopped” basket because she used burrata cheese atop her pizza.

“Miriam, we loved the way you cooked your pie,” judge Christian Petroni said. “It is representative of New York-style pizza, but unfortunately that burrata just kind of took away from some of the beautiful stuff you had on your pizza.”

Judges also agreed they had difficulty tasting some of the basket ingredients Weiskind used to create her pizza, which led to her being chopped.

Weiskind was raised in Clayton but now makes pizzas in New York City. She was apprenticing as a pizziaola at Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn and a tour guide for Scott’s Pizza Tours. During the pandemic she was furloughed, and she pivoted to make thousands of free pizzas out of her apartment for New Yorkers hit hard by the lockdowns. Community members began donating money for supplies to help Weiskind serve Brooklyn. She now makes pizzas around New York at pop-up appearances.

Weiskind announced her “Chopped” appearance on her Instagram. In the post, she said “Chopped” was her mother’s favorite TV show. Weiskind’s mother, Hyla, was a longtime Daytonian who died of COVID-19 in August 2020. Weiskind said she continues to bake in memory of her mother.

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