Howdy. Just call me the pizza cowboy.

Pizza. I’m obsessed with it.

Like most Americans, I’ve been in love with pizza as long as I can remember: eating it at Formica tables in booths as a kid in the 70s on Long Island, learning to live with substitutes for the real thing at Pizza Hut while living in Hong Kong in the 80s, settling for jumbo slices while attending Georgetown University in D.C. in the 90s, writing about the most notable places nationwide, seeking out the best New York City has to offer in the 00s, and pizza-spelunking America’s icons, sleepers and of-the-moment meccas.

I’m not happy unless I’m seeking out a great slice, talking with pizza people, and burning the roof of my mouth. For seven years, I’ve spearheaded The Daily Meal’s quest to determine the nation’s 101 best pizzas, an effort, I’m proud to say, to my knowledge has canvassed more pizza experts than any publication ever.

Lists are a fact of life. TripAdvisor’s best this, Thrillist’s best that… Some are worth trusting. Many are easily dismissed. My gripe with most is lack of methodology. There’s a 50-word intro featuring clichés and little more when it comes to the how and why of the places chosen.

Agree with the results of the lists I’ve curated or not, I’ve made it my business to explain how they were created and made sure there was a how beyond, “there’s a place down my street,” even when there was a place down my street ;).

While curating, I’ve tried to personally eat as many of America’s best pizzas as possible. All that pizza needs a place. This is that place.