[image-1] Even hot guts guru and smoked meat master John Lewis craves a cheesy, doughy indulgence every now and then.

“You know when you’d go to Pizza Hut as a kid and they’d bring out this big pan with clamps on it,” says Lewis. How could anyone forget — the squeaking of the plastic booths, the sweet marinara, those beige plastic plates, etc.?

The style Lewis remembers, and still craves today, is Detroit: thick, crunchy crust, chewy inside, and slightly spicy tomato sauce. Lewis recalls his favorite from VIA 313 in Austin, Tx. “I’ve been really missing it, I’ve been craving it.”

This past Monday, Lewis and friends hosted a Johnnie Luigi pizza party featuring Detroit and Neapolitan style slices, bagel bites, salads, and desserts. Lewis says around 400 people showed up, “the turnout was crazy. Everyone kind of came at once. The next time we’ll have reservations with table service.”

[image-3] And going forward, Lewis says they’ll just focus on Detroit-style ‘za, baked in pans for approximately eight minutes in an electric oven with ceramic stones above and below the pan, ensuring cheese is “browned on the top” and the crust is “crisped real nice.”

The next pizza party is slated for Mon. Aug. 20. Exact details have yet to be determined, but Lewis says he knows they’ll have three different pies. Safe to say, these’ll put the Hut to shame.

“We’ll have a dry-cured hot gut one with Wisconsin brick cheese that melts amazingly, with a spicy sauce that goes on the top. Then we’ll have a clam pie with mascarpone and parmesan and herbs and garlic with a clam liquor cream sauce and roasted broccoli rabe. The third one will be veggie with New Mexico hatch chiles and a queso melting cheese. It will have a red chili enchilada sauce and roasted onions (and those Lewis-approved chiles).”

Oh, and Lewis says he has plans for a blooming onion-style Detroit pizza in the future. Stay tuned for more party details, and cross your fingers for that blooming onion. Who says you can’t have your (barbecue and pizza laced) pie and eat it too?