THERE WAS A TIME when a pizza pie was simple: red (marinara), white (mozzarella) and round. As the first pizza chef at Wolfgang Puck's '80s hot spot Spago and later the architect of the menu for the national chain California Pizza Kitchen, Ed LaDou was pivotal in elevating the dish to gourmet status. A cult figure to celebrities--who flocked to the Los Angeles Spago for his latest creations--LaDou topped his pies with such unconventional ingredients as duck sausage, smoked salmon, hoisin sauce and barbecued chicken, his signature. The culinary mission? To expose diners to what he called the "infinite spectrum of...

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