Aside from pretty much every creation ever brought forth by Yum! Brands, there are few foods out there that have a stronger symbiotic relationship with weed than the sovereign that is pizza. The intermingling of pizza and pot has undoubtedly led to feats of unrivaled brilliance and good vibes aplenty, but what happens when one camp ventures too far into the realm of the other?
That's the question we were left asking ourselves after hearing about a Rockaway-based pizzaiolo who was just arrested for growing marijuana without a license in the back of his popular pizzeria. Did we forget to mention that the man just so happens to be known as the "Pizza Nazi"?
Forty-three-year-old Whitney Aycock, who goes by the moniker "the Pizza Nazi" and is the owner and head chef of Whit's End, is a polarizing man by most accounts. He flat out refuses to serve slices, and once told a customer, "If you want a slice, go to Elegante's. I don't give a fuck."
If that's not enough evidence that Aycock deserves his nickname, how about this: One of the tabs on his pizzeria's website simply takes you to a photo of a paper plate with the following scrawled on it: "Closed. Go fuck off and die. Thanks."
Or this: Aycock despises when customers order off-menu toppings so much that he will allegedly charge a 500 percent markup to anyone who asks for a custom pizza.
Hell, Grubstreet even reports that one former employee finally snapped and spit in Aycock's face, leading to a shoving match that the police had to break up.
All that is to say that Aycock has quite the reputation for being equal parts provocateur and pizza virtuoso. Even still, most people probably didn't expect that Aycock would be physically dragged from his restaurant in handcuffs last Saturday after two police officers spotted a marijuana plant growing in back of the restaurant the previous day.
According to a criminal complaint released by the Queens District Attorney, Aycock originally told the two officers,"Those are herbs. I use them for my restaurant," further insinuating that the plant was lemon verbena. Then he said it was, in fact, not lemon verbena at all—but was actually catnip.
Aycock eventually told the officers, according to the district attorney, "I buy the herb on [the] Nassau Expressway, so if it's anything that it's not supposed to be, then you shouldn't be speaking to me. You should be speaking to the people who sold it to me."
Apparently, the arresting officers were in for more than they bargained for. They said that during the arrest, Aycock "flailed his arms and twisted his body in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed and placed under arrest," and that customers joined in and began to curse out the officers. It seems that some pretty inflammatory words were hurled considering the pizzeria released a statement on its Facebook page denouncing "any discriminative bigotry expressed by customers of this establishment."
A restaurant may indeed be a second home for most chefs, but that doesn't mean you should keep your stash there.