The winner of the CPK Pizza Wars this year is....

California Pizza Kitchen continues to nurture the innate culinary talents of people on the third year of the CPK Pizza Wars which was recently held at their Shangri-la Plaza East Wing branch. Pizza Wars was adapted easily from CPK in the United States, which is only fitting considering that The Philippines is its first international franchise.

With my ballot ready for my winning pizza to be written...let's...get...tasting!

GRCI Marketing Manager, Bob Vallar, spearheads the event as he shared the details about CPK, Pizza Wars, the competition's mechanics, finalists and judges.

CPK President and CEO, Archie Rodriguez, shares his appreciation for the competition to be something that strengthens the bond between the company and its employees, and wishes good luck to the finalists of this year's Pizza Wars.

Archie is part of this year's panel of judges, along with CFO Griffith Go, celebrity chef and TV personality Sandy Daza, and social media guru / writer / foodie extraordinaire and KTG founder Spanky Enriquez.

There are three finalists who made it to the cut on this year's CPK Pizza Wars. namely: Jay Mar dela Paz of CPK Greenhills for his Banh Mi Pizza, Danny Fernandez of CPK Greenbelt 5 for his original Thai Beef Pizza, and Rommel Panaligan of CPK Alabang Town Center for his Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza. All of them were chosen by GRCI representatives during previous in-store elimination rounds from all the branches in Manila.

Each one displayed their own showmanship while preparing their pizzas in front of the judges.

Personally, I voted for this Thai Beef Pizza from Danny Fernandez of CPK Greenbelt 5. Call me bias, but the mild heat appealed to me the most and the flavors of the veggies and the beef stood out.

These judges are ready for some pizza!

It's just nice to hear from the experts, don't you think? Each judge provided an intricate description of what they tried and gave really good criticisms for improvement. It's all part of the passion of pizza making!

The Banh Mi Pizza from Jay Mar dela Paz tasted a lot more like curry pizza for me, but it did not mean it was bad. It was good, a bit spicy too, and drenched with fresh veggies! Yum!

But this year's CPK Pizza Wars win was given to Rommel Panaligan of CPK Alabang Town Center! His winning pizza, the Garlic Cream Cheese Pizza, is outstanding with a balanced richness from the combination of cheeses, a savory mix of meats and a spike more of interesting flavor element thanks to the balsamic glaze that was drizzled on top. Congratulations to you sir!

His prize: Php25,000.00, bragging rights of course, and the winning pizza will be featured in August this year as part of CPK's annual celebration of National Pizza Day and will be included on CPK's new menu which is set to launch in 2018.

California Pizza Kitchen in The Philippines has branches at Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, SM Mall of Asia, Century City Mall and Shangri-la Plaza East Wing.

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Disclosure: All views expressed in this article are from the author.

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