Author Archives: John Gutekanst

Trending Recipe: Polenta Nera Pizza

John Gutekanst

In this recipe, I’ve taken the traditional “Polenta Nera” recipe of the mountainous Alto Adige region and modified it by using puffed buckwheat, barley or spelt as a wonderful pizza with anchovies. Polenta Nera Pizza 10 ounces of your in-house dough 1¼ cups of whole buckwheat berry or grain (substitute local spelt or barley) 2½More »

Fish Food: Seafood on pizza

Clams in shells

In 2007, I entered the World Pizza Championships with my fresh diver scallop and truffle pizza. I was glad to know that the scallops I had meticulously kept iced had survived the two-day wait until being cooked on the pizza. Twenty minutes later, as I stood waiting to enter my Neapolitan pizza, a man IMore »

Chorizo takes your pizza menu to the next level

Chorizo Meatball Pizza Photo by Josh Keown

Chorizo is one famous sausage with many forms and variations around the globe. In the States, it has been often overlooked as one of the most flexible and flavorful toppings to grace a pizza. This Spanish sausage –– with its unique ruby color and slightly acidic, smoky-garlic flavor profile, what the large sausage corporations areMore »

Transform any pizza with smoke meats and cheese

Transform any pizza with smoke meats and cheese

Smoking foods has been around forever. There are very few natural manipulations that humans have used to influence the taste and texture of food while preserving it at the same time. The salted and smoked meats that ancient humans preserved enabled them to pack up large quantities of protein and travel to better places. Nowadays,More »

Bell Peppers, one of the best weapons in your arsenal

Bell Peppers, one of the best weapons in your arsenal

Sweet peppers are one of the most versatile and forgiving vegetables around. They can take a beating and come out perfect. Roasting peppers heightens them with an initial frontal mouth-blast before the caramelized sugars kick in for a delicious finish. These red, green and yellow beauties also liven up any pizza, salad or pasta withMore »

You say Panini, I say panino

You say Panini, I say panino

Panini is the plural form for panino, which is literally the term for “small bread roll” in Italian. Technically, any sliced bread shouldn’t be called a panini or panino, but even in Italy, most sandwich shop operators will let you get by with calling everything a panini. This wonderful hot sandwich is a moneymaker asMore »

Creative grains can make your dough stand out

Creative grains can make your dough stand out

At 4:30 pm on August 15th, 2009, I made the best business decision I’d made since opening my pizzeria ten years earlier. I changed my dough. I had been in business for more than nine years. That steamy day, I cruised up and down the undulating hills and steep ravines of Southeastern Ohio heading toMore »

Cheese Encounters

2013 May: Cheese Encounters

I have been involved in a complicated relationship for 14 years. My partner is fickle, moody, unstable and inconsistent, but I can’t get rid of her. Because of her voracious greed, she takes all my money, squanders it and I never see it again. Unfortunately, my customers adore her and cannot get enough of her,More »

Master Of The Pan

Photo by Josh Keown

Pizza pans matter when it comes to creating the perfect crust, flavor At an old used restaurant warehouse in West Virginia, I stared into a dark corner at several three-foot stacks of blue-steel pizza pans piled like greasy towers. Their thick, bumpy sides indicated that they were at least 15 years old, probably older. WithMore »

Steak Out

2012 December: Steak Out

My pizzeria’s love affair with steak began over eight years ago when restaurant consultant Big Dave Ostrander convinced me to put steak on my menu. Of the 53 toppings I offer, it’s a standout. In fact, in the past 10 months, steak has been responsible for the sale of 1,043 large single steak topping pizzas,More »