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11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen

11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen

This casual pizza chain is just about impossible to dislike

California Pizza Kitchen was founded by two attorneys in 1985.

California Pizza Kitchen is unlike any other pizza chain on Earth. But even if you can’t go a week without its signature barbecue chicken pizza, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this popular chain.

11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen (Slideshow)

CPK was founded by two attorneys, Rick Rosenfeld and Larry Flax, in 1985 in Beverly Hills. The duo, who had no previous restaurant experience, pooled together $550,000 to launch it, and were convinced that the burgeoning California-style pizza movement, which featured fresh and creative ingredients, could anchor a national chain. Popularized by restaurants including Spago and Chez Panisse, the duo replaced high-end toppings like caviar and smoked salmon with more affordable favorites like chicken teriyaki, and the crowds rolled in.

By 1992 there were 26 locations throughout Southern California, and PepsiCo came aboard to purchase 67 percent of the chain for $100 million, giving Flax and Rosenfeld a $17.5 million windfall each. The chain has gone through a handful of different owners over the years, but today it’s owned by Golden Gate Capital, which famously purchased Red Lobster from Darden in 2014.

CPK is constantly looking to stay modern and reinvent itself, with new menu items being rolled out every year. In 2014 it began opening “Next Chapter” locations, with designs that incorporate reclaimed wood and menu items including cedar plank grilled halibut, grilled ribeye with blue cheese butter, smoked ham and Swiss flatbreads, and cocktails. One look at its menu and it’s clear that it being voted America’s favorite pizza chain is no fluke. Read on for 11 things you didn’t know about CPK.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.


11 Things You Didn’t Know About California Pizza Kitchen - Recipes

Well, this one actually was lunch. but would be perfect for a light summer dinner as well. Due to my tomato allergy, I have to get creative with my pizzas. And, they have to be gluten free. Fun, I know. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) offers a gluten free crust. I usually get their white pizza, but sub the crust for gluten free and do okay. As a summer special they came out with a Tricolore' pizza. a parmesan, garlic and olive oil crust topped with a spring salad mix and balsamic vinaigrette.

Today, I decided to create my own version. It was super simple and so yummy. Kinda like eating flatbread with your salad.

Udi's frozen thin crust pizza crust
Organic mixed spring greens
Annie's Naturals balsamic dressing
Olive oil
Parmesan
Minced garlic
Garlic powder

Place crust on a pizza pan. Drizzle or spritz ( I have a mister) crust with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder, parmesan cheese and minced garlic. Bake as directed (about 5-7 minutes). In the meantime, wash greens and pat dry (my salad spinner broke). Toss greens with balsamic dressing to lightly coat. Once the crust is done, cut it BEFORE adding the salad topping. I just find this works better. Top the crust with the salad. It is that easy.