By Gabby Richman / Photo by Mark Morgan
Clay Moizo’s business card reads “Chicago born, Arizona bred,” and he shares his love for his hometown as the co-owner of Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill. His passion for cooking and enhancing his family recipes certainly shines with the Windy City-style fare served at the restaurant.
What food is your guilty pleasure? Pizza, and I love all styles as long as it’s done right. My favorite has always been Chicago thin crust with really good Italian sausage.
Favorite food memory: Making family dinners and baking with my parents and grandparents as a child. Learning all of their recipes from many different backgrounds, from pizzas, meatballs, red sauce, creamy garlic dressing and kolachki cookies with my dad’s side of the family to homemade fudge, cakes and cookies with my mom’s side.
When you’re not at Half Moon, where would we find you? With my beautiful wife and two amazing kids creating family memories of our own.
Do you have a favorite thing to cook? My dad’s meatballs and red sauce which guests just may see on our menu someday…
Biggest change you’ve made to a family recipe and why: Adjusting some of the pizza dough recipes to account for the difference in water and changes in humidity in Arizona from Chicago.
What do you think makes Chicago food so delicious? Chicago restaurants have such an eclectic range of backgrounds and it shows in each of the places back home. They pride they take in their family’s recipes and the authenticity in their flavors are unmatched. From Greektown to Chinatown, if you are craving one of those flavors, you know where to go, and will never be disappointed.
Why is it important for you to share and pass on the flavors of Chicago? Growing up my friends would always gravitate to our house and tell me how great my parents cooking was. It’s special to share that with my kids. Family and friends are meant to eat and share stories and memories together. That’s what I’m hoping to do with them and the new friends I make daily at Half Moon.
What sets your deep-dish pizza apart from the rest? The special twist of combining a traditional Pomodoro sauce with my family’s sweet sauce recipe gives it a truly unique flavor.
2121 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix; 602.977.2700; www.halfmoonsportsgrill.com.