You could say I’ve been training my whole life for this latest opportunity. This weekend, I’ll be judging eight–eight!–pizzerias in Northern Indiana. Pizza Wars! Here’s the press release: Photo by Neal Niemiec Northern Indiana Taps Chicago Critic to Weigh in on Pizza Wars June 13-14 ‘Critics Choice’ award added to popular vote in annual gourmet smackdown The Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission has added a new, special ingredient to the Pizza Wars: Critics Choice. This weekend, travel guide author and journalist Kate Silver will journey to eight Pizza Wars contenders and choose the crème de la crust. Dan Bearss, executive director of NITDC, said this is a chance for an outside expert to judge the local competition. “Every great sporting event has an official of some sort, whether it’s an umpire, referee or some other professional maintaining a standard of play. As a professional travel writer and guidebook author, Kate Silver will score each pizzeria, add new depth and raising the stakes in the competition.” Silver, who is based in Chicago, is the author of the 2015 Frommer’s EasyGuide to Chicago. A freelance journalist, her food, travel and lifestyle pieces appear regularly in Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living and other publications. As a self-described “professional eater with a writing habit,” Silver has explored the thick and thin of the Chicago and international pizza scene, and says she’s thrilled to experience a piece—or eight—of Indiana pie. “You could say I’ve spent my life preparing for this job. I’ve eaten my weight—and then some—in pizza in Chicago and other cities across the world. I’ve learned the difference between styles—Neapolitan vs. New York vs. the different Chicago styles vs. Detroit vs. St. Louis and the list goes on. But the bottom line is, a great pizza transcends style. It’s all about the melding of flavors and textures. I’m excited to check out the most beloved slices in Northern Indiana and cast my vote.” Silver will be visiting the following eight competing pizzerias Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14: Elkhart County Rulli’s Iechyd Da Brewing Co. Kosciusko County Café at the Bowling Alley LaGrange County Iannarelli’s LaPorte County Albano’s Villa Marshall County The Wooden Peel Porter County Duneland Pizza St. Joseph County Giannetto’s Pizza At each location, she’ll rate the pizza using a scorecard. The winners will be announced at a later date, in conjunction with the winners of the popular vote.