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.



pepperoni pizza

March 1, 2017 |

Pep Talk

Pepperoni is America’s top pizza ingredient This is a true pepperoni story. One night, six years ago, I received a call from an older customer saying that we made her pizza incorrectly. “You screwed it up! I ordered a plain pizza, and this doesn’t have pepperoni.” “I’m sorry, ma’am,” I said pulling the phone back…Read More


Butternut Squash and Guanciale Pizza

February 1, 2017 |

Turn the Other Cheek

Guanciale offers a time bomb of flavor I have many farmer friends who raise pigs in rural Ohio. Over the years, they’ve turned me on to some great “off cuts” that most people don’t see like liver, trotters and neck. One of the most delicious cuts I get from these hogs is the cheek. This…Read More


Butternut Squash and Guanciale Pizza

February 1, 2017 |

Butternut Squash and Guanciale Pizza

Butternut Squash and Guanciale Pizza   Print Author: Pizza Today Recipe type: Pizza Ingredients 1 proprietary nine-ounce dough ball of 60-70 percent hydration Extra virgin olive oil for the pan and crust finish 4 ounces Fontina cheese 24 slices of braised butternut squash from recipe below* 3 ounces of guanciale, cut thin and then in…Read More


January 28, 2017 |

The Stromboli-Conda

The Stromboli-Conda   Print Author: Pizza Today Recipe type: Sandwich Ingredients One proprietary 19-inch dough ball ¼ cup Béchamel or Alfredo cream sauce 100 pepperoni (5½ ounces) ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 2 ounces fresh spinach, arugula or basil ½ cup grated mozzarella One oiled 10-inch steel pan or seasoned pizza pan. Instructions Either roll out…Read More


roman pizza slice

January 1, 2017 |

Mascarpone Madness

Versatile cheese worth a look when pushing your menu If there is one cheese that I adore, it’s mascarpone. Not because of its high butterfat or its traditional use as a sweet dessert cheese, but because it is a brilliant mixing cheese for any pizzeria and can be infused with many different flavor profiles like…Read More


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


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