Last week’s GOP debate attracted the largest viewing audience for any CNN broadcast, ever (and remember, this was a network that gained popularity during the first Iraq War, when everyone, including Saddam Hussein, admitted to watching CNN regularly).

Although there was a stage full of GOP hopefuls, most people (me included) tuned in for one reason: Donald Trump.

Years ago, I attended a Christmas event at Trump Tower in Chicago. The great man himself showed up for the festivities and a publicist asked me if I’d like to be introduced. Alas, I said, “No, that’s okay. We really wouldn’t have much to say to one another.” Now, I regret that demur, as I might have taken the opportunity to counsel him: “Run, Donald, run.” This would have given me “bragging rights” for giving him the extra push he needed to get into the race and, thus, to set in motion a chain of events that would lead perhaps to the eventual destruction of the Republican party (or, perhaps, the strengthening of it).

So, to mark the historic occasion of the second Trump-dominated GOP debate, we decided to have a pizza party, featuring the TrumPizza.

First I brushed the crust with oil (would have used snake oil, if we had any in stock) and added a few slices of old goat cheese (get it?!)

The TrumPizza was festooned with my friend Gary Wiviott’s smoked bologna, which I wrote about for the Chicago Tribune early last summer. I could have picked a lot of meats, but bologna seemed most symbolically appropriate.

 On top, an angel hair comb-over, celebrating The Donald’s trademark coiffure. We had to use a comb to set the hair, and honestly, even though the comb sat in boiling water for 15 minutes and was completely sterilized, it still kind of grossed me out to use a hair care implement to style food. With all this pasta on top of the crust, there were a lot of empty carbs…a lot of empty energy.

At the Trump Tower event where I almost met The Donald, we were greeted upon arriving by a bevy of beautiful models dressed up in swimsuits and wearing cute little fuzzy brown reindeer antlers (remember, it was Christmas). When The Donald took the stage, he had one of these antlered babes on each arm, grinning admiringly at them as he admitted, “My weaknesses!” Thus, the gorgeous tomatoes surrounding our TrumPizza.

We were making light of this, of course, and whatever your feelings about Donald Trump, you have to admit: he stands out on a crowded stage. Thus do we honor him with…The TrumPizza!

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...