2024 Chefs

Ruth Gresser

Pizzeria Paradiso


Saturday, May 11, 2024 at the Grand Tasting Reception


Pizzeria Paradiso opened so they could make the kind of pizza they longed for but couldn’t find in the DC area; the kind of pizza where the crust was the most important part. To create that pizza, they start with a wood-burning, domed, stone oven able to cook at a temperature of 650 degrees and above. Then they placed the oven at the heart of the restaurant so their guests would feel the warmth and comfort of its glow.

Next, they developed dough that would respond to their oven the way they dreamed. They let the dough rise slowly, work it by hand, lightly grace it with the finest quality toppings, finish it with extra virgin olive oil and cook it in their beloved oven.

The original Pizzeria Paradiso, located on the second floor of a small townhouse in Dupont Circle, opened its doors in November 1991. The restaurant received immediate critical acclaim and has consistently been ranked among the best dining in Washington, DC.  Since the original location opened its doors, Pizzeria Paradiso has opened restaurants in Georgetown, DC (2002), Old Town Alexandria, VA (2010; closed 2020), Hyattsville, MD (2017) and Spring Valley, DC (2018). They also relocated the original restaurant to a larger space complete with a small outdoor patio space.

Founded on the spirit of laughter, Pizzeria Paradiso evokes the warmth one feels in the home of a close friend. Founder and Chef/Owner Ruth Gresser’s vision of Pizzeria Paradiso during its formation was of her standing near the kitchen laughing with her co-workers. The notion of creating a nice, respectful and good place to work is the bedrock of Pizzeria Paradiso, and still, guides the staff and influences their customers. At Pizzeria Paradiso, the people in the community change but the feeling the community creates remains true to Founder Ruth Gresser’s vision.