John Gutekanst

John Gutekanst owns Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio and has a pizza blog called Pizza Goon. He is an award-winning pizzaiolo, baker, teacher, speaker and author and has been featured in Gastronomica, Food Arts, National Geographic, Alimentum Food Journal, Food Network and Best Food Writing, 2012.



John gutekanst emcee at International Pizza Challenge 2016

November 1, 2016 |

Expo’s Cutting-Edge Pizza Competition

Notes From Emcee John Gutekanst I’m big into innovative crusts and was bowled over during the Non-Traditional Division bake-offs by Tony Vacchio’s crust from Zolas in Ottawa, Canada. He used Indonesian coconut husk ash dough, which he added to his regular crust for a beautiful pie. Louie Bossi from Fort Lauderdale really brought it on…Read More


beef2-398x600

November 1, 2016 |

Beauty and the Beef

A few tips and tricks to convert ground beef pizza topping into a marketable hit When I was 16 years old, I worked as a dishwasher at the White House Tavern in Palatine, Illinois. This bar had a small kitchen that served huge cheeseburgers made by a grouchy Hungarian chef. Every day I would show…Read More


various pastas

October 1, 2016 |

Modern Roni

Offer more than spaghetti for an updated pasta menu Pasta is like walking into an amusement park. You can get lost in all the combinations, flavors and lovely profiles –– some old, some young, some just made up on a whim. Either way, the perfect pasta not only depends upon the fancy (or non-fancy) shape….Read More


clam pizza

October 1, 2016 |

What a Temper!

Pair big flavors with these easy tips While visiting a pizzeria near the beach in Ostia, Italy, I ordered a magnificent white pizza with Gorgonzola. The pizza was a beautiful thing to behold with the pillowy charred edges of a high-heat Neapolitan pie along with the thin, crispness of a Roman pizza made with olive…Read More


jamaican jerk chicken pizza recipe

September 1, 2016 |

Caribbean Queen

Caribbean-inspired flavors can turn your menu into paradise The most exciting aspect of pizza is the ability of this fine platform to showcase different flavor profiles from around the world. The exciting flavors of the islands is a perfect example of how you can increase interest and boost sales by using Caribbean flavors in your…Read More


mango salsa

September 1, 2016 |

Trending Recipe: Fresh Mango Salsa

I can’t get enough of topping a warm pizza with dynamic flavors after the oven. Nothing beats this mango salsa on top of meaty, cheesy pizzas because its giant taste is as brilliant as the visual effect. For more modern Caribbean flavors, see my story. Fresh Mango Salsa   Print Author: John Gutekanst Recipe type:…Read More


pineappe upside down pizza

August 1, 2016 |

Pineapple a Day

Diving into the many uses of “king of the pizza fruit” Without a doubt, pineapple is the king of pizza fruit. Pairing pineapple with salty pork, luxurious melting cheeses, spicy jalapeño, nuts and herbs transforms a boring pie into a memorable experience. In any pizzeria, one of the “must have” toppings is this spiny fruit,…Read More


The Belgium Bombshell pizza

July 1, 2016 |

Pizza Toppings: Oh Canada (Canadian Bacon)!

Canadian bacon brings the flavor to meat toppings There are times as an entrepreneur that you want to take the low-risk road when it comes to toppings. That voice in your head says, “Will my customers even know that this topping is a cheaper (and perhaps an inferior) product?” looms every time you see a…Read More


summer pizza

June 1, 2016 |

Spring into Summer

Summer ingredients make perfect LTO menu offerings Summer brings the sun, fun and relaxation of life to my small town. It also harkens the advent of barbequing, home cooking and my customers vacationing away from town. When I first opened, this meant fewer sales, less cash flow and less profitability … until I did something…Read More


mushroom varieties

March 1, 2016 |

Mush Boom

Operators embrace mushrooms’ availability year ’round In 1975, I was a young dishwasher at a Swenson’s ice cream restaurant in Chicago. One day, Kevin, our abusive 20 year-old “head cook,” called me to the grill to see something cool. I complied, hoping he would hook me up with free food. “Check this out, dish dork,”…Read More