Thursday, July 6, 2017

# Archie Rodriguez # Bob Vallar

California Pizza Kitchen's Pizza Wars Year 3

I've always loved California Pizza Kitchen ever since it opened its doors here in Manila. I remember the first branch I visited is in Shangri-La Plaza Mall. I was so curious about this pizza place that my aunt in the US who lives in New Jersey buys a bunch from LA then freeze them to eat them slowly. After having its famous BBQ Chicken Pizza and Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza (that's not on their menu anymore), I was hooked.
(L-R) Fruit 'N Nut Salad, Cucumber-Lemon and Mint Shake, Quinoa-Arugula Salad and Spinach & Artichoke.
When I was invited to experience the 3rd run of the CPK Pizza Wars' final round, I said, "Yes!"
Mango-Watermelon Shake: a yummy treat that gives memories of summer! ^_^
"California Pizza Kitchen has distinguished itself as a pizza authority attributable to its wide selection of innovative and artisanal pizzas. But more importantly, the secret behind the success of CPK here is, of course, the people behind it. Which is why, apart from showcasing the talents of our pizza chefs who are equally passionate about food as we are, we wanted to challenge them to take their culinary skill set to new heights. And sure enough, they have proven to be up to that challenge," said Bob Vallar, Marketing Manager of Global Restaurant Concepts, Inc (GRCI).

I'd like to introduce the judges of the final round who were there with us: CPK President and CEO Archie Rodriguez, CPK Chief Financial Officer Griffith Go, Celebrity Chef and Philippine Culinary Icon Sandy Daza and Social Media Guru and Let's Eat Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Spanky Enriquez.
(L-R) Sandy Daza, Spanky Enriquez, Rommel Panaligan, Griffith Go, Danny Fernandez, Jay Mar dela Paz, Archie Rodriguez & Bob Vallar. 
For the final round, there were 3 finalists.
Danny Fernandez of CPK Greenbelt 5 with his original Thai Beef Pizza.
Contender #1 Danny Fernandez's Thai Beef Pizza
The Thai Beef Pizza was a mixture of fresh, crunchy greens that consisted of broccoli, zucchini, carrots, onions and peanuts with the sweetness of soft sliced beef and topped with chili flakes. It was sweet, salty, spicy with a little hint of vinegar that makes it light and refreshing. It's actually my favorite pizza out of all that was presented so I gave my vote to this pizza.
Thai Beef Pizza
A slice in front of Spanky Enriquez, one of the judges. I was hoping he'll like it as much as I did.
Jay Mar dela Paz of CPK Promenade Greenhills with his Chicken Banh Mi Pizza.
Jay Mar dela Paz working it with his final touch!
Contender # 2 Jay Mar dela Paz's Chicken Banh Mi Pizza
The Chicken Banh Mi Pizza is very colorful with a really deep Asian flavor. A mixture of curry, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrots, turnip, spring onions and chicken on top of a crispy crust. It does give a very banh mi taste with its sweet crust taming the spiciness of the curry a bit.
The colorful Chicken Banh Mi Pizza
Rommel Panaligan of CPK Alabang Town Center with his Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza.
Contender # 3 Rommel Panaligan's Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza
The Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza is surprisingly not very garlicky but the aroma of cream cheese mixed with mushrooms and sausages makes it every meatlover's dream. For me, the taste is somewhat familiar. It's like a carbonara on a pizza except the drizzle of vinaigrette gives its flavor a twist.
Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza
The winner of CPK's Pizza Wars Year 3 will receive a P25,000 cash prize and his creation will be featured in August 2017 as part of CPK's National Pizza Day so watch out for the new pizza. So who won the challenge? Watch this.

The new pasta offerings were also served to us during the event and I must say, they're very easy to fall-in-love with! Yes, I ate them all! (Please don't tell me why I'm fat. I know why so just shush. :P)

My favorite is the Foriana which is very Mediterranean in flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes tossed in pasta with shaved Parmesan cheese and Foriana sauce.
THE Foriana
Look at the different shades of red by sundried tomatoes & cherry tomatoes mixed into the pasta.
The Chicken and Sausage Fajita on the other hand is a crowd favorite. It's the goodness of smoked sausage, grilled chicken with tri-color peppers and jalapeno mixed in spinach fettucine and garlic cream sauce.

Ready to try this year's Pizza Wars winner, Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza?  It's every meat-lover's dream to indulge it. Wait until August 2017 for CPK's National Pizza Day to order it. It will also become a mainstay in next year's CPK menu.

For more information on CPK, visit or follow them on FB and IG @cpkphilippines. There are currently 7 branches of CPK: Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, Mall of Asia, Century City Mall and Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

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