Jen recently visited California Pizza Kitchen‘s test kitchen in California to learn more (and taste test) their new gluten-free pizza menu. CPK has worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group over the past year to not only create great tasting gluten-free pizzas, but ensure that their gluten-free, gluten-intolerant, and celiac customers are safe when dining at CPK.
Just how does California Pizza Kitchen ensure the safety of their diners? Working closely with GIG, all staff have been trained by GIG and will continue to be educated and trained. The pizza crust is made in dedicated gluten-free bakery and then sent to CPK on disposable metal pans.
Bright blue signifies “gluten-free” in CPK’s kitchens. All new bright blue utensils and cutting boards have been made just for CPK. These utensils and cuttings boards are kept separately. Another huge change is that California Pizza Kitchen has removed traditional flour in their kitchens, now using only rice flour to roll out all of their pizzas. This eliminates any airborne glutenous flour. The kitchen staff prep all gluten-free ingredients first thing each morning prior to regular prep and the gluten-free ingredients into sealed containers.
The gluten-free pizza feeds 2 – 3 people (although you may not want to share) and the large thin crust cooks evenly. Please be aware that the only gluten-free menu selection CPK is currently guaranteeing are the pizzas. However, they’re looking at adding salads and a dessert in the future.
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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF GLUTEN-FREE PIZZAS
Company partners with the Gluten Intolerance Group for nationwide rollout LOS ANGELES, CA (October 16, 2013) – California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the authority on California-style pizza and industry leader in creative dining, today announced the launch of a new line of gluten-free pizzas available at restaurants nationwide through a partnership with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). The four gluten-free pizzas are prepared using strict procedures set forth and approved by the GIG, including a certified gluten-free crust and other ingredients verified by California Pizza Kitchen’s suppliers as gluten-free. GIG will also conduct regular site inspections and audits to ensure all guidelines are being met.
“We are excited to expand our product offering to provide delicious and flavorful pizzas to guests who are affected by Celiac Disease or may suffer from gluten sensitivities,” said Brian Sullivan, SVP of Culinary Development for California Pizza Kitchen. “Through this partnership, we can now offer guests the opportunity to dine with confidence and an understanding that we have followed the strict guidelines set forth by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Over the past several months, we’ve unveiled several new initiatives that are all part of the next chapter at California Pizza Kitchen and the addition of our gluten-free pizzas is another great example of the culinary direction in which we are headed.”
Guests may choose from four options under the new gluten-free pizzas line, including:
• THE ORIGINAL BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA – Our legendary BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions and cilantro. Add Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon for even more flavor.
• PEPPERONI – A combination of rustic and spicy pepperoni, fresh Mozzarella and wild oregano. Add white truffle oil to incorporate a unique element to America’s favorite pizza.
• MUSHROOM PEPPERONI SAUSAGE – Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, Mozzarella and wild oregano.
• MARGHERITA – The classic. Italian tomatoes with fresh Mozzarella, basil and Parmesan.
The Gluten Free Food Service (GFFS) certification logo, an industry program of GIG, will be displayed on all California Pizza Kitchen menus to indicate the independent verification of quality, integrity and purity of food preparation policies, education and standards. Any of California Pizza Kitchen’s pizzas may be made on a gluten-free crust for an additional $2.00, but due to current kitchen space, only the pizzas listed above can be prepared using GIG’s certified procedures.
“We look forward to partnering with California Pizza Kitchen as the company is committed to maintaining strict policies to ensure that guests are served quality pizzas that meet our gluten-free guidelines,” said Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director, Gluten Intolerance Group.
California Pizza Kitchen is also testing a new Lunch Duo in 29 restaurants. Guests will be able to choose from any two of California Pizza Kitchen’s 7-inch pizzas, California Flatbreads, sandwiches, salads or soups to create their own meal. Guests may take advantage of this promotion between Monday and Friday, from 11AM – 4PM at participating California Pizza Kitchen locations.