To Pineapple or Not to Pineapple? Chefs Weigh in on Hawaiian Pizza

“Don’t take her swimming on the first date; Take her to get pizza and see if she chooses pineapple.”
— Any chef with their own television show, apparently.

When it comes to pizza toppings, pineapple is the most controversial. There isn’t much of a grey area, either: you either don’t mind it or you vehemently abhor the fruit-pizza combination.

Grecian-born, Canada-based pizza maker Sam Panopoulos created the Hawaiian pizza in 1962 through an experiment: putting fruit on pizza “just for the fun of it.” The “Hawaiian” name came from the brand name of pineapples he was using that day. He loved it. But what do others in the food and pizza industry think?


Gordon Ramsay

British chef, restaurateur, and television personality (Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef)

Gordon Ramsay Pineapple Pizza

Later, when finally trying a slice for charity, Chef Ramsay states “this isn’t a pizza… it’s a mistake […] You don’t put f*cking pineapple on pizza”


Alton Brown
Host of Cutthroat KitchenGood EatsIron Chef America

In response to Chef Ramsay: “If I want pineapple on my pizza, I’ll by God have it.”


Guy Fieri

Host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

“I’ve heard there’s been some controversy surrounding my favorite pizza topping: pineapple. Some people say pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza, but they’re just party poopers! […] Pineapple pizza is off the hook! Alright!”


Anthony Bourdain
American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality (Parts Unknown, No Reservations)

In response to Guy Fieri: “I say this with all sincerity: f*ck you, Guy Fieri. F*ck you and your pineapple f*cking pizza. Have you ever eaten pizza before, you good-for-nothing douchebag? No? […] I’m an adventurous guy. I’ve eaten some crazy shit: the still-beating heart of a cobra, bull penis, fetal duck egg, raw seal eyeball, and roasted sheep’s testicles, to name a few. But I would never dare to defile God’s gift to humanity with the acidic, watery bitterness of pineapple.”
Emily Hyland
Chef-Owner of New York’s Emily (Pizzeria) and Emmy Squared

“People who live in hard absolutes with pizza have no fun in their lives [… everything] is an acceptable pizza topping as long as it is balanced and not overpowering.”


Matt Hyland
Chef-Owner of New York’s Emily (Pizzeria) and Emmy Squared

“Pineapple roasts up nicely and tastes good when cooked, so I think it makes sense.”


Ken Forkish
Owner and head baker of Portland’s Ken’s Artisan Pizza, and author of The Elements of Pizza Cookbook

“When it’s baked the flavors concentrate and its sweetness delivers a hit of tropical.”


Nancy Silverton
American chef (Pizzeria Mozza, La Brea), baker, and author

“Whenever we would go out, Ben [Silverton’s son] would ask for pineapple on his pizza. I would kind of cringe. It was embarrassing.”


Paul Giannone
Owner of and head pizzaiolo at Brooklyn’s Paulie Gee’s

Giannone began with a ‘no pepperoni, no pineapple, and no potatoes’ on his pizzas but now features pineapple pies on several of his menus, loving how the fruit accentuates the flavor of the meats he pairs it with.


Massimiliano Alajmo

Italian Chef (and youngest three-star Michelin Chef)

“I understand it’s a provo­cation. I am open to trying new things but it’s not really within my sense of pizza. If you ask if I prefer a pineapple or marinara pizza, I would say marinara because this kind of flavour is part of my history and memory.”


And, finally:


Scott Weiner

Owner of New York’s Scott’s Pizza Tours

“To those who say pineapple isn’t an acceptable pizza topping because it’s not Italian … it existed in Italian food culture long before pepperoni ever did, but nobody complains about that. So many of the popular toppings we argue about are not Italian. Corn on pizza? Buffalo chicken on pizza? Ranch dressing on pizza? Not nearly as much noise about those, but they’re absolutely not Italian items and when they’re treated right, they taste great.

To those who say pineapple isn’t an acceptable pizza topping because it doesn’t taste good, they probably haven’t had it done right. Raw chunks of pineapple thrown around a pizza? No way. Roasted and pulled pineapple with a honey glaze paired with a fatty pork is delicious. No need for tomato on that pineapple pizza, there’s enough acid to go around.

I am absolutely pro-pineapple and I think about it the same way I think about most food arguments. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.”



So, what do you think about pineapple on pizza? Love it or hate it?

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s