The Chicago Yelp Elite Squad kicked off the 2019 season with an exclusive hands-on event at the iconic Lou Malnati’s restaurant in the Gold Coast. With the promise of cheese and aprons, Elites headed over to the restaurant at 6pm, ready to roll some dough.
Once everyone picked a spot, grabbed a complimentary glass of beer, wine, or a soft drink, and pulled hair nets over their glorious manes, it was time to make a dang pizza. Lou Malnati’s general manager Colleen stepped into the spotlight and began teaching the group how to be Lou Malnati’s pizza professionals for the night.
Each group started by flattening out their balls of dough on the bottom of their pans, and then pulling the dough up the sides of the pans. This is how that deep-dish crust magic happens. After step one, Colleen went into great detail about layering topping after topping to make the most delicious Lou’s creations — we won’t spoil the entire surprise, but there are a lot of ingredients made with love in every bite! Once each group finished crafting their ideal pizzas, it was time for Lou’s rockstars Niki and Andrea to take them back to the kitchen to be cooked.
While each team’s masterpiece cooked, the Lou Malnati’s team brought out appetizers to snack on, from calamari to salads to bruschetta. Elites were also taken back into the kitchen in small groups to get a tour and learn even more about the magic and history of this particular Lou Malnati’s location — like, did you know their Gold Coast location makes every single delivery order from scratch? None are frozen, and each is made with care. Activities like this made the waiting period go by quickly!
Then came the most magical part of the evening next to making the pizzas: eating the pizzas! The restaurant surprised Elites by bringing extra sausage and cheese pizzas out, along with the creations crafted by the groups. Everyone ate until they could eat no more, and some even took home leftovers.
Once everyone had eaten, the team at Lou Malnati’s put a cherry on top of the evening… literally: They presented personal-sized warm cookies with ice cream on top for dessert to everyone! Every single person was elated, and made room in their dessert stomachs for the treat, because why not?!
Thank you so much for a glorious, cheese-filled evening, Lou Malnati’s, and for your generosity! You are so appreciated and we had the best time.
Be sure to check out all the five-star reviews and all photos on the Yelp event page.
All photos above are by Yelp Photographer Miguel Tellez.