Melbourne pizza master shows the world how it’s done

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Melbourne pizza master, Johnny Di Francesco has continued his whirlwind overseas triumph, placing first at the Campionato Mondiale della Pizza (Pizza World Championship,) in Parma, Italy last week.

The Brunswick restaurateur, who was recently awarded third place at the World Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, wowed judges with his skill and technique and took out the specialita traditionale garantita (STG) pizza prize for his margherita.

The traditional dish, which under the rules of the competition must be 35cm in diameter, cooked in a wood-fire oven and contain only specifically limited ingredients such as peeled tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt, is a staple item on the 400 Gradi menu in Brunswick.

The World Pizza Championship attracts over 600 entrants from more than 35 countries.


Australian’s are not generally synonymous with world class pizza making, but owner and pizzaiolo of one of Melbourne’s most iconic Italian restaurants, 400 Gradi, is changing that perception.

Johnny Di Francesco, nick-named, Mr Pizza in his home town of Melbourne, has placed third in an international pizza making competition in Las Vegas.

Di Francesco was invited to the 2014 World Pizza Expo not only to compete in the competition, but also to act as both a guest judge, and represent Australia as our very own pizza expert. Having been recently appointed as Australiasian principal of V.P.N – an international pizza association based in Naples – the Melbourne chef said “the atmosphere at the event was amazing, and that were an incredible number of passionate people in attendance”.

“The competition was very tough and I was competing against people from all around the world including Italy and even Japan”, Di Francesco said, speaking from Las Vegas. “I am amazed by the sheer number of wonderful people I had met during this experience”, he continued.

From the dazzling lights of sin city, Johnny continues his world pizza tour flying to Parma, Italy, for the Pizza World Show from April 6-20.

Gram Magazine

GRAM is an Australian magazine dedicated to how a nation experiences all things food and drink. It does away with traditional food magazine formulas, preferring a journalistic approach. Published by qualified and experienced journalists, GRAM features news, features, analysis and investigations of the industry. We do not accept payment for our journalism. We do not publish reviews. We are not bloggers (we love them, but there's a difference) and we absolutely are not "influencers" (just don't).

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