Legends of the Diabolical Fiberglass Pizza Chef


“Sit on this,” he seems to be saying.

You’ve spotted him outside innumerable neighborhood pizza parlors — a slovenly, slouching, life-size fiberglass figure. He leers, he winks, he wears chef’s whites and a toque that looks like somebody sat on it.

Maybe the bottle got to him. Or too much coke snorted? He seems more like a pirate than a chef. His one good eye seems to be popping out of his head, as if he’d just pulled a spyglass out of it. Is he scanning the horizon for pizza customers?

Many times the fiberglass chef — who often quite literally blocks your path into the restaurant — has succeeded in dissuading me from going inside and ordering a slice. Do the pizzeria owners know how scary he is? And who was the first pizza-parlor owner to think it was a good idea to put one out front?

Has anyone thought about making a horror movie? The diabolical fiberglass pizza chef is 100 times scarier than Chucky — but maybe that’s because I like pizza.

This one doesn’t even try to wink, yet he’d stab you between the ribs without blinking an eye.

Of course, there are dozens of variations on the figure, each scarier than the last. One smiles broadly and looks almost human — until you notice he has the hands of an ape. Another hopelessly rotund version squints at you myopically through frames that have no lenses.

The Times became obsessed with the crazy chef statue. They concluded that our best examples are knockoffs of cruder Italian statues. So it goes.

The iconography transferred to another medium, slightly modified