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 »

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 »

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 »

Beautiful Bechamel

2012 November: Beautiful Bechamel

In 2002, my menu consisted of cheap deals, 23 toppings, one sauce, one crust type, no specialty pizzas, no calzones and no wings. I advertised how good my product was but got tired of tell­ing customers, “That’s all we have, take it or leave it.”Then one day I changed my menu mix in a bigMore »

My Turn: John Gutekanst, Avalanche Pizza, Athens, Ohio

2012 May: My Turn

A Matter of Perspective   John Gutekanst Avalanche Pizza Athens, Ohio It was a busy night and we were running at a 55-minute pizza delivery time. I just put four large pizzas on the rail of my conveyor oven and pulled the ticket from the make line that would eventually accompany the four boxes onMore »