YES, five of the classic and creative pizzas that made diners go mad over California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) when it opened its first store in the Philippines some 15 years ago are back – with a vengeance! These original pizzas, made the old-fashioned way with hand-tossed crusts, are Tostada Pizza, Goat Cheese Pizza, Peking Duck Pizza, Santa Fe Pizza and Teriyaki Chicken Pizza.
These vintage pizzas, originally found on CPK’s first menu, will be available in all of CPK’s nine stores nationwide starting on July 1, 2013. Created with their original ingredients but with a California twist, these vintage pizzas will be made using CPK’s new hand-tossed pizza dough. The original hand-stretched pizza dough recipe has been improved so that it is much more flavorful and able to enhance the flavors of all the ingredients that will be placed on top of it.
Tostada Pizza (P395), which leans towards the Tex-Mex type of cuisine, has Southwestern black beans, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and grilled chicken breast strips all over the dough, topped with lettuce, chunky fresh tomato salsa, ranch dressing, scallion greens and, for added crunch, crispy tortilla strips.
Goat Cheese Pizza (P395) is the vegetarian pizza among the five vintage pizzas that are back on the CPK menu for a limited period. It is made with crumbled goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, sautéed onion, grilled eggplants, red and yellow pepper rings, with fresh tomato salsa and garnished with parsley.
Peking Duck Pizza (P475) is the premium item among the five vintage pizzas. The Asian-inspired pizza teems with roasted duck, shiitake mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and hoisin ginger sauce, garnished with fried wonton strips, slivered scallions and a generous drizzling of hoisin ginger sauce.
Santa Fe Pizza (P395) is also Tex-Mex by nature. It is a combination of grilled chicken breast strips, caramelized onions and Mozzarella cheese, topped with cilantro, chunky fresh tomato salsa and scoops of sour cream and fresh guacamole (Mexican style avocado dip).
Teriyaki Chicken Pizza (P375) shows Japanese influence with its topping of teriyaki chicken strips, combined with Mozzarella cheese, Queso Quesadilla, red and yellow bell pepper rings, red onion and slivered scallions with a teriyaki-ginger sauce on a crispy crust. The pizza is true to its Japanese roots, with the word teri meaning “lustrous” in Japanese and yaki meaning “grilled,” thus making the word teriyaki mean “grilled lustrous pizza.” This pizza is actually being introduced in the Philippines for the first time, but it has been on the original menu of the California Pizza Kitchen mother company since it first opened in the United States, so it’s considered as a vintage pizza.
These five vintage pizzas make up the first wave of hand-stretched pizzas that have made it to the CPK menu. The R&D team is continuously experimenting on new flavors that will undergo rigorous taste tests before the best few are chosen, after which CPK will roll out a menu of all hand-stretched pizzas.
“With these vintage pizzas on hand-stretched dough, we are taking great effort to make CPK go back to its California roots and prove to people why we have become known as the pizza authority,” Ellen Bernales, marketing manager of Global Restaurant Concepts Inc. (GRCI), explained when we had lunch together at CPK Greenbelt 5 today (June 19, 2013).
And, oh, there’s a special promo going on at CPK stores nationwide until August 31, 2013. If you order a vintage pizza, you’d be given a CPK Vintage Pizza Passport. Every purchase of a vintage pizza earns you a stamp, and when you’ve earned five stamps on your passport, you can exchange it for P500 worth of CPK gift certificates.
(California Pizza Kitchen stores can be found in Alabang Town Center, Shangri-La Plaza, Greenhills Shopping Center’s The Promenade, TriNoma, Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center, Greenbelt 5, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Subic Harbor Point Mall and W Global Center in Bonifacio Global City.)