A restaurant in Berlin last year seized the Guinness World Record for “Greatest Variety of Cheese on a Pizza,” but 111 types of cheese wasn’t nearly enough as far as Johnny di Francesco was concerned. Francesco, the chef at 400 Gradi in Melbourne, Australia, has beaten the record by more than 40.
di Francesco officially took the new record with a pie topped with 154 varieties of cheese, according to Guinness. He had earlier created a 99-cheese pizza inspired by the 2014 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in which the character, Donatello, refers to such a cheese-heavy pie as a “culinary impossibility.”
“We had an overwhelming response from our customers [to the 99-cheese pizza], so much so that they petitioned to have it as a permanent menu item,” di Francesco told Guinness. “Since then, we decided to up the ante and create a 154-cheese pizza. So, my apologies, Donatello: Culinary impossibility debunked!”
After putting the fictional turtle in his place, di Francesco set out to do the same to Vadoli, the Berlin restaurant that held the previous record for most cheese varieties on a pizza. di Francesco's winning recipe included Gorgonzola, Pecorino, Taleggio, aged cheddar, gouda and, well, a hundred-plus more. The record-setting pizza contained just one gram of each cheese type.
400 Gradi has multiple locations in Melbourne, and the subtly named “Cheesy Pizza” was eventually offered at all of them, with a total of 797 pies sold in five days.
di Francesco said customer reaction was “incredibly positive,” adding, “Many were completely overwhelmed and in awe, of course. Watching my customers’ facial expressions as they took their first bite into a slice of cheesy goodness—well, that reaction is priceless.”