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California Pizza Kitchen Puts Cauliflower Pizza Crust On Menus Nationwide

Following a “highly successful” cauliflower pizza crust test in the SoCal area, California Pizza Kitchen has decided to put the veggie-based crust on menus nationwide.

cauliflower pizza crust

Photo courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

The cauliflower pizza crust game is hot right now, with one brand that offers it overtaking all frozen pizzas on Amazon in less than half a year. The gluten-free crust option is popular both because it has no wheat and that it’s veggie-based, appealing to those looking to switch most of their carbs to produce or looking for veggie-centric meals.

A word of warning to those with Celiac disease, however: CPK isn’t guaranteeing that trace gluten amounts won’t be on their cauliflower crust. Current kitchen space limits their restaurants to only produce their four gluten-free regular pizzas in the gluten-free kitchen. The crust is certified gluten-free, but it’ll be cooked in the same space as regular pizzas for now.

Guests can swap cauliflower crust onto any pizza on CPK’s menu at any location, barring those in universities, hospitals, airports, and hotels. It’ll be a $2.50 upcharge to get the crust typically, but CPK is waiving that through Feb. 9 as a way to get people to come in and try this increasingly popular pizza crust option for themselves.

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California Pizza Kitchen Is First Chain To Have Cauliflower Pizza Crust

One of the fastest-growing items in the food world right now is cauliflower pizza. As a gluten-free crust option, the plant-based pizza base has taken off, with one company becoming one of Amazon’s fastest-growing and top pizza brands in just six months. Recognizing that the cauliflower pizza crust game is strong right now, national pizza icon California Pizza Kitchen is hopping on the bandwagon early. They’re officially becoming the first national restaurant chain to incorporate cauliflower pizza crust into their menu.

cpk cauliflower pizza crust

Photo courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

The cauliflower pizza crust rollout is happening in two phases: Starting on November 27th, Southern California locations in Redondo Beach, Rainbow Harbor, and Manhattan Beach will begin offering the option to replace any crust on their menu with the brassica veggie. Early next year, every CPK location, barring those in hotels, airports, stadiums, and universities, will also have the gluten-free option available.

Photo courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen

While it’s impressive to see a chain with CPK’s reach incorporate such a hot item so quickly, it’s gonna come at a steep price. Upgrading to the cauliflower pizza crust will cost an extra $2.50 per pie. But hey, if you’re celiac or on the low-carb pizza hunt, those options just became a whole lot more accessible.


California Pizza Kitchen Has Influenced Pizza Trends For More Than 30 Years

Nothing beats an original. Just ask California Pizza Kitchen. CPK, they’re more affectionately known as, has shown modesty when it comes to the popularity of its line of hand-tossed pizzas, though it has come to our attention recently, that there’s an unspoken reality of CPK being the creator of the Original Barbecue Chicken Pizza — a menu item that has steadily influenced pizza trends since 1985.


We got a hold of an original CPK menu, which includes the beloved barbecue chicken pizza, an item that hasn’t left the menu since.


Today, food trends live and die through social media, as we’ve seen with Starbucks and Internet chef-based recipes. However, before the digital age, trends were spread by word of mouth, pricey advertising, and crafty marketing.

It may seem pointless to discover the origin of the barbecue chicken pizza, but after some investigation, it’s clear to see that CPK’s clandestine influence has encouraged — or forced — almost every other corporate pizza chain to replicate the original barbecue chicken pizza.

While the recreation of the barbecue chicken pizza by Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Stone Fire Grill and countless others is not as heinous as what Burger King did to the Vulgar Chef — it’s more of a hat tip — it’s important to note.

In the age of replication, as copy and pasting becomes second nature, discovering the origin of an idea provides inspiration and illustrates how far concepts can go by word of mouth and human interaction; life then imitates a dinner table, open to the market place of ideas.

Ironically, none of the other corporate pizza chains will own up to pillaging a damn good pizza recipe, but everyone knows, regardless if you knew in the back of your head, were old enough to visit CPK’s original location, or just had an idea that CPK’s barbecues chicken pizza is on another level.

Now you know.

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A Master Pizza Chef Tells Us How We’ve Been Making Homemade Pizza Wrong

If you’ve ever tried to recreate your favorite pizza at home, but were disappointed with the final product, you’re not alone. When it comes to homemade pizza, there are a few tricks of the trade that go unnoticed, but will go a long way.

We recently visited California Pizza Kitchen’s Innovation Kitchen in Redondo Beach Calif., and had the opportunity to speak with Senior Vice President of Culinary Innovation, executive chef Brian Sullivan. As a member of the CPK family for nearly 30 years, Chef Sullivan knows his way around the kitchen. In fact, the chef’s first menu item, The Sicilian Pizza, remains a CPK top seller to this day.

So, in order to get the skinny on how to make the perfect pizza at home, we asked the pizza master what we were missing and what steps we could improve on to make our homemade pizza just as memorable as our favorite pizzeria’s.

Photo by Ben Rose

First, Chef Sullivan said, people need to respect the dough more. In that sense, he encouraged home cooks to let their dough rest as long as possible — in order for the yeast to activate and for the dough to reach the ideal temperature.

“I think it’s the proofing of the dough, that’s the thing that I see done incorrectly the most. You have to start off with a dough product that’s typically room temperature, so you can stretch it.”

We all know how important a stretchy cheese pull is, so why not make that translate to your dough? Chef Sullivan advised that in order for pizza dough to become consistent enough to form a crust, it must be room temperature.

“A lot of times, it’s cold, so they go to stretch it and it really doesn’t become the proper thickness it should be. Give it 30 minutes or even longer, depending on room temperature. It really needs to be in the 70-80 [degree] range before we go to stretch it. That’s key.”

To an expert like Chef Sullivan, making the perfect dough is the most critical part of the entire recipe. To ensure that, home cooks should incorporate a good flour. He also revealed some insider secrets on what makes CPK’s pizza dough so consistently delicious.

“I think for us, we like to add maybe a touch of honey, just a little bit of sweetness. I think using a nice olive oil is something that can help.”

In terms of flavor profiles, Chef Sullivan also warned against overtopping pizzas. Not all ingredients will add flavors to your homemade creation, he explained.

The main thing, Chef Sullivan explained, is to have patience. If you’re in a rush, can’t find good ingredients and aren’t using anything to make your dough standout — maybe pizza isn’t the best dish to prepare.

Don’t rush. Also, use a good cheese — I mean a great cheese. I think that’s another thing. You don’t want to skimp on the ingredients. I use a really good mozzarella.”

Chef Sullivan wants everyone to make a delicious pizza at anytime, but now you know, delicious pizza takes time. From the ingredients to the preparation process, each step should reflect your attention to detail. Also, always remember — respect the dough!


An Outrageous Look At CPK Pizzas From Around The World Including Milk Tea Pizza

We’ve always had a deep appreciation for variations of popular food dishes made around the world. Whether it’s what burgers look like in different countries to what a culture’s go-to BBQ options are, the world is such a large place that we can only imagine what creative flavors are out there.

Dropping by California Pizza Kitchen’s test kitchen, we were given an exclusive look at what the pizza restaurant serves around the world.

After trying each, we’re pretty depressed they don’t serve these pizzas in the states. Novelty aside, they were that good. However, since CPK’s next chapter transformation (new menu, remodeling, custom drinks…) is taking place at 80 of its locations throughout the country, maybe there’s hope yet.

Seriously, that eel pizza though. We’ll be dreaming of that thing for years.


Chorizo Pizza (Philippines)


The pizza is made with a spicy chorizo and mozzarella cheese. It’s topped with sautéed red onions, shaved red & yellow peppers and scallions.

Roasted Pork Belly Pizza (China)


Made with roasted pork belly, the dough is slathered with a hoisin-kale sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. It’s topped with pickled mustard greens, glazed mushrooms and cilantro.

BBQ Eel Pizza (Japan)


Using a creamy miso sauce base, the pizza is made with mozzarella cheese, Shiitake & King Trumpet Mushrooms, broccolini and slivered scallions. It’s topped with BBQ eel and an eel sauce drizzle.

Gambas Al Ajillo Pizza (Phillipines)


Made with sweet shrimp that’s marinated with roasted garlic, smoked paprika and Cholula hot sauce, the Gambas Al Ajillo is eaten on a crispy flatbread.

Pearl Tapioca Milk Tea Pizza (Taiwan)


The Milk Tea Pizza is created with a thin crust that’s been brushed with honey, the pizza is topped with a mascarpone black tea cream. It’s then topped with sliced banana, pineapple and caramel tapioca.

Peking Duck Pizza (China)


Served on a thin crust, the pizza is based with a hoisin sauce. It’s topped with mozzarella cheese, honey glazed mushrooms and roasted duck tenderloins. Cucumbers, red jalapeños and slivered scallions are served on the side as add-ons.



California Pizza Kitchen Offers Four Gluten-Free Pizzas, Including Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage


For those strictly on a gluten-free diet or simply looking to try something new, California Pizza Kitchen is now offering gluten-free pizzas. By introducing the new menu items, the restaurant chain aims to meet a growing demand of gluten-free products for those sensitive to wheat, according to Senior Vice President for Culinary Innovation Brian Sullivan.

CPK will label all gluten-free items in the kitchen with blue labeling, including cooking gloves, cutting boards and cutting wheels. The pizzas are baked with a rimmed pan that prevents the gluten-free pizzas from touching regular-menu items.

As of now, there are four gluten-free pizzas to choose from the menu: Original BBQ Chicken; Mushroom, Pepperoni and Sausage; and Margherita. A plain cheese option is also available for anyone who’s just feeling like plain cheese.

H/T + PicThx NRN


CPK Introduces New Flatbread Pizzas Including A Spicy Fennel Sausage + Poblano Peppers

Spicy Fennel Sausage and Poblano Pizza California Pizza Kitchen

Earlier this month, California Pizza Kitchen released 3 new flatbreads to its small plate offerings including The Bianco (whipped truffle cream, gorgonzola, mozzarella sage), The Shaved Mushroom + Spinach (cremini mushrooms, sautéed spinach, California olive oil, romano & parmesan) and The Spicy Fennel Sausage + Poblano (torn sausage, fresh mozzarella, fire-roasted chilis, Greek oregano, spicy marinara). The Sausage Poblano (in-focus pictured above) was our favorite, but we confirmed that all are delicious.

Check out the photos below, courtesy of Marc Kharrat, of our entire meal that included the flatbreads and other offerings available at CPK.


The Bianco Flatbread Pizza

Bianco Pizza California Pizza Kitchen


Shaved Mushroom + Spinach Flatbread Pizza

shaved mushroom spinach flatbread california pizza kitchen


 White Corn Guacamole + Chips

White Corn Guacamole California Pizza Kitchen


Avocado Club Egg Rolls

Avocado Club Egg Rolls California Pizza Kitchen


Cedar Plank Salmon (Cooked in the Pizza Oven!)

Avocado Club Egg Rolls California Pizza Kitchen


California Club Pizza (applewood smoked bacon, roasted chicken, mozzarella, avocado, arugula, basil romaine, lemon-pepper mayonnaise)

California Club Pizza CPK


Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza (chipotle adobo sauce, shaved poblanos, monterey jack cheese, roasted corn, black bean salsa, clinatro and lime crema)

California Club Pizza CPK


Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad

Original BBQ Chopped Salad California Pizza Kitchen


Salted Caramel Pudding, Red Velvet Cake & Butter Cake

cpk dessert

California Pizza Kitchen also announced a new Sweet Deal For Two promotion where guests will be able to enjoy one appetizer, two entrees and a dessert from a pre-selected menu for $30.


Top 10 Veterans Day 2012 Free Food Specials


In honor of America’s veterans and active duty military this Veterans Day, November 11th, restaurants nationwide are offering free meals to the men and women who have dedicated themselves to serving their country. From free entrées at Applebee’s and Olive Garden, to warm donuts and coffee at Krispy Kreme, we’ve compiled some of the best Veterans Day deals available across the nation.

**Remember to check the company sites for any details listed, such as identification requirements, exact dates/locations that offers are valid, etc.

1. California Pizza Kitchen — Free Pizza & Non-Alcoholic Beverage on Sunday, November 11 & Monday, November 12.


2. Applebee’s — Free Signature Entrée Special on Sunday, November 11.


3. T.G.I. Friday’s – Free lunch from select menu items on Monday, November 12 from 11 am to 2 pm.


4. Krispy Kreme — Free donut & small coffee on Sunday, November 11.


5. Olive Garden — Free Entrée Special on Sunday, November 11.


6. Sizzler — Free lunch (choose from 6 oz. steak, Malibu chicken, or half dozen fried shrimp) on Monday, November 12.


7. Red Robin — Free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Monday, November 12.


8. Golden Corral – Free Dinner on  Monday, November 12 from 4 pm to 9 pm.

Golden-Corral-Veterans Day

9. Denny’s — All You Can Eat Pancakes on Monday, November 12 from 6 am to 2 pm.


10. BJ’s — Free Lunch Entrée or Mini/Individual One Topping Pizza on Sunday, November 11 & Monday, November 12.