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California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Wars: What Wars Should Be Like



Clearly, I abhor war because it widens the gap between humanity. But if wars were like California Pizza Kitchen's Pizza Wars, I'd gladly volunteer to be drafted in the pizza army! :D

Recently, one of the leading gourmet and artisan pizza restaurants in the Philippines, California Pizza Kitchen, held Pizza Wars, an inter-restaurant competition and search for the best, new gourmet pizza flavor-this is also the first- ever pizza competition held by a CPK international franchise.

Chefs from all California Pizza Kitchen restaurants in the Philippines battled it out to be the first- ever Pizza Wars champion. The competition began with store level elimination rounds where CPK chefs in each store competed with each other to secure a spot in the Semi- Finals. Ten chefs from different branches made it to the semi- finals. From ten, the list went down to 3 for the Finals round.


Presenting the top 3 CPK chefs (L-R): Romel Panaligan of CPK Alabang, Lea Castillones of CPK Eastwood, and John Chloe Oplejeda of CPK TriNoma.

Chef Romel in a make-or-break moment at the Pizza Wars finale

The finale was held last week at California Pizza Kitchen, BGC and judges were Archie Rodriguez, and Griffith Co of Global Restaurants Concepts Incorporated, and celebrity chef Rolando Laudico. I attended it just because...PIZZA! :D 

The guests were served with the three finalist pizza dishes made by the finalist chefs. Click READ MORE for my personal favorite and find out who won! :)


Farmer's Choice by Chef Romel Panaligan, CPK Alabang

Romel's pizza is a healthy, vegetarian feast: it has a roasted squash base, cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini, egpplant, and dessicated coconut. It's a salty-sweet concoction and the dessicated coconut gave it a tropical twist and interesting crunch. I'm not into vegan pizzas, but I could say that this one is tasty!

Steak and Mushroom + Truffle Pizza by Lea Castillones, CPK Eastwood

Lea's pizza is steak and pasta re-imagined on slices of pizza. I love how perfectly cooked the steak slices were, but it tastes like something I've eaten before for many times already, but it's now only in pizza form. It's not original, but good, nevertheless.

 The Elvis by John Chloe Oplejeda, CPK TriNoma

Now this is my most favorite among the three! It's a pizza recipe that should have never been made because it's so sinful, but that's okay because we all love sinful stuff because it's TASTY! :D This pizza has loads of Bacon, cheese, Banana slices, peanut butter drizzle, candied walnuts, and a scoop of peanut butter gelato. It's main course and dessert in one! :)

So who won the competition?

Romel Panaligan of CPK Alabang and his Farmer's Choice pizza! The judges loved how Romel 's pizza was able to innovate the good ol' vegetarian pizza. Romel is now California Pizza Kitchen's first Pizza Wars champion and he took home P25,000.00 and of course, bragging rights. :D Congratulations, Romel!

Romel's Farmer's Choice pizza will be included in all California Pizza Kitchen menus at the last quarter of 2015. Please visit CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN PHILIPPINES ON FACEBOOK for more information.

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4 Lovely Thoughts

  1. "Pizzas are everywhere!!!!". Wow, I suddenly felt a craving for pizzas. It's been awhile since I last read a food post in your blog Ms. Martha :))

    Ohmomo~ parang ang sarap nga ng Farmer's Choice Pizza and it's somehow healthy pa, what more I am looking for? Must really watch out for this. Yayyy!

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  2. Nakakagutom! Congrats Mr.Romel Panaligan! thumbs up on your vegan pizza! I like it's name also, Farmer's choice pizza:)

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  3. Kakagutom (T_T) Well, anyway, when I first looked at the photos of the pizzas, I already picked Chef Romel's Farmer's Choice. Then voila, he won! Haha. I've only been to CPK twice but will surely try them again soon. =)

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  4. I love CPK pizzas! Well I love pizzas in general. :) This kind of war is something that we always want. Food wars to be more specific. I also like the sinful pizza among the 3. :) It's just so appetizing and yummy. peanut butter drizzle for the win. And congrats to the chef winner! His pizza looks so appetizing too even though he used veggies

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