To Top

Meet Brian Kirshenbaum of Magic by the Slice in Evanston and Northshore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Kirshenbaum.

Brian, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Loving all things Chicago (especially pizza), back in 1999, I began perfecting my own deep dish pizza. I tried numerous recipes week after week, would eat one slice, sometimes only one bite and then pass the rest of to my neighbors. My neighbors loved me! I got close to what I thought was the perfect flavor and consistency but felt something was missing. With months of trial, the help of some of my more than willing taste testing friends, the Chef at Pizzeria Due (sister restaurant to Pizzeria Uno), my great pal the late Chef Stutz and a few others, I nailed it!

Having worked as a professional comedy magician since the age of 16, fast forward to 2012, I conceptualized a great dinner show experience where I am the cook and the entertainer. It only took that first try in early 2013 at a private party in Evanston to know, this is it! Magic by the Slice was born!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Pretty smooth. I mean, I went from transporting cooking equip and ingredients in cardboard boxes to now using nice plastic bins. I had to learn what size pizzas to cook, how many slices per guest, how to walk the line of food cost and quality etc. What to prep in advance, what to do on sight and how much to charge. Nothing difficult, just time consuming to get where I am today. The biggest challenge was figuring out exactly how to market, promote and prepare for growth.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Magic by the Slice – what should we know?
I’m known for 2 things, the flavor and quality of my deep-dish pizza and making people laugh as a comedy magician. I believe what makes my pizza unique is not just the flavor and consistency of the made from scratch crust (which is lighter and flakier than what you’ve had before) but my hand made sauce with imported Italian tomatoes, selection of artisan cheeses and quality of toppings. When I makes pizza for your guests, I make the dough that day, crush the tomatoes by hand to get the perfect consistency for the sauce and do my best to support local businesses when sourcing ingredients.

This idea of being proud is an interesting concept to me. I am not really proud of what I’ve done. I believe when you’re passionate and excited to share your gifts, talents and creativity with others, it simply makes sense. Magic by the Slice is just a natural progression for me. So instead of feeling proud, I will just say I feel grateful and honored that people invite me into their homes so I can share who I am and what I do to enhance the quality of their lives. I only hope I inspire others to do the same with their gifts and talents.

What sets me apart from others? I would have to ask you what sets any of us apart from anyone else? Life experiences, our perception of those experiences and what we do next based on that perception.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jeff Hobson – my mentor and friend in comedy magic.

Roz – First party client that made me do it, making me realize you’ll never feel 100% ready to take the plunge but gotta do it. Gotta stop talking/thinking and start doing!

Family and friends – Entrepreneurship can be lonely when you’re a one-person operation. Gotta have people off of whom to bounce ideas and of course be willing to taste test new flavor profiles!

Chefs Stutz, Madarang, Young and Caporuscio – inspiration, information, guidance and expertise.

All my past and future clients.


  • 6-12 ppl – 2 pizzas $400
  • 13-18 ppl – 3 pizzas $450
  • 19-24 ppl -4 pizzas $500

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 847-691-3401
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @magicbytheslice
  • Facebook: @magicbytheslice
  • Twitter: @magicbytheslice

Image Credit:
Deb Moran of Deb Moran Photography and Lisa Versino of Coconut Dolly Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • VoyageChicago FAQs

    We’ve prepared this FAQ about VoyageChicago (run by Voyage Group of Magazines, LLC) (“Voyage”) in an effort to ensure that anyone...

    Local StoriesSeptember 23, 2018
  • The Influencers

    VoyageChicago owes a huge debt to the incredible local community of influencers – from fashion bloggers to foodies – who put...

    Local StoriesSeptember 19, 2018
  • #ChicagoCreatives: the local artists who inspire us

    Through a mix of mediums, formats and perspectives local artists illuminate the unknown, color the previously black-and-white and add depth to...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • Fun Things to do in Chicago

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Chicago over the next few weeks. Check them out below...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative

    The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • The Thought-Provokers: Celebrating Artists & Creatives

    Chicago has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • Chicago’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Chicago has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • Makeover Monday’s: local beauty inspo that blew us away

    New week, new look.  Here’s some inspiration from some of Chicago’s most gifted beauty professionals. View this post on Instagram Makeup...

    Local StoriesSeptember 17, 2018
  • An Artistic Voyage: exploring local creative and artistic works

    Raw, unfiltered creative expression – from stories and photographs to illustrations and paintings – is at the heart of VoyageChicago.    In the...

    Local StoriesSeptember 14, 2018