It’s a show on its own: watching the pizza chef at your favorite restaurant toss freshly-made dough into the air before serving it up to your table—and your tummy. But this particular pizza shop owner certainly dishes up a different set of looks with his spinning talents. As a thirteen-time World Pizza Champion acrobat, Justin Wadstein knows how to put the “oh!” in dough.
From what started as a side-act in a family show, blossomed into many fiery performances. Every year participants from all over the globe compete for the title of World Pizza Champion at one of two competitions in Italy and in Las Vegas, Nevada. The elaborate two-to-three-minute routines set to music resemble a similar act to that of rhythmic gymnastics—but, instead of colorful ribbons, the competitors use pizza dough!
During his first competition, Wadstein competed in Las Vegas, bringing home first place in the United States and fourth in the world. It was during this contest that he met 13-time World Champion, Tony Gemignani. As a seasoned pizza spinner, Gemignani has been a great friend and inspiration for Wadstein’s work. Eventually, he even added the element of fire.Wadstein has now integrated his love of performing with his love of cooking. His day-to-day life as a chef has allowed him to express his pizza-spinning abilities alongside his delicious pizza-making skills. This thirteen-time champion is certainly bringing home the dough with his thin crust and his spin crust.