Casper restaurant represents Wyoming at International Pizza Challenge

For three years, Justin Boltz and Firehouse Pizza in Casper have represented Wyoming at the...
For three years, Justin Boltz and Firehouse Pizza in Casper have represented Wyoming at the largest pizza competition in the United States.(Justin Boltz)
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 4:20 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - For three years, Firehouse Pizza in Casper has represented Wyoming at the International Pizza Challenge.

Justin Boltz trained with pizza chefs of Good Fellas Pizza at New York Pizza School where he learned the trade and was introduced to the International Pizza Challenge. More than five years ago, he opened Firehouse Pizza as a fast-casual restaurant in Casper. The restaurant boasts individualized pizzas, so patrons choose their own toppings and sauces.

“I love competing, and that’s why I do the pizza competitions... It’s normally four football fields of the expo, so you can go around and find new POS systems, new signage, there’s everything,” said Boltz.

The International Pizza Challenge is the largest pizza-making competition in the United States. 200 pizza makers from around the world compete in four divisions, traditional, non-traditional, pan, and Neapolitan. The winners of each division compete against each other in a mystery ingredient bake-off to win the title of Pizza Maker of the Year.

“You get to compete against the best around the world and you get to learn from them as well they’re there to go ‘here... here’s something that you might try with your dough or some toppings or with your cheese’ and some of their techniques that they do and stuff like that,” said Boltz.

Boltz is competing in the non-traditional division of the contest. Contestants get to bring their own ingredients, and Firehouse focuses on using as many Wyoming ingredients as possible, in their restaurant and at the competition.

“I’m actually doing something outside the box with my toppings, I have a lot of local ingredients that I’m using... Anything that we can do to help support local because without them we can’t do what we want to do and same it goes both ways,” said Boltz.

The competition is live-streamed by the International Pizza Expo on YouTube. Firehouse Pizza will be sharing updates on their Facebook page. The non-traditional competition will last from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23.

For more information on the challenge and the expo, visit the Pizza Expo website.

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