California Pizza Kitchen’s Bloggers Night

Manila’s famous (or more aptly, infamous) rains and floods could not dampen the bloggers’ enthusiasm and determination to attend California Pizza Kitchen’s (CPK) bloggers night at CPK Glorietta 3 last Sept. 10.

It had been raining all day and fiercely at times. Some bloggers were deliberating whether they would still go or not. So I thought that if I left the office at 7pm, I would still be in time for the event. What a surprise met me when I got there a little past 7 pm to see the 2nd floor function room of CPK practically full of bloggers already!

At the registration area, I saw several CPK boxes marked with themes. We were supposed to pick out a theme we wanted. I selected the theme “More Than a Massage” as I was fascinated by its health theme. We found out later that whatever theme we chose corresponded with a new pizza flavor which CPK arranged for us to make.

This was a meet & greet affair. Got to meet Archie Rodriguez, the President of the CPK franchise in the Philippines.

With Archie Rodriguez of CPK

With Archie Rodriguez of CPK

Also had time to chat up emcee RJ Ledesma. I told RJ that I knew he was a yoga teacher and first saw him at Vinyasa. When I introduced myself as the one behind the yoga blog, The Yogini from Manila, it turned out he actually heard of my blog. There and then, we began chatting like 2 people who found something common to talk about.

With RJ Ledesma and wife Vanessa

With RJ Ledesma and wife Vanessa

Later, I also met Brad Geiser, one of the partners behind Geiser Maclang which prepared this event for CPK. I had long wanted to meet Brad who was just a buddy on a social networking site. Another buddy on that network was Jen who was there with her husband Stan.

With Brad Geiser

With Brad Geiser

An eyeball with Jen who I only knew as "jencc" for the longest time

An eyeball with Jen "jencc"

It was a night of pure fun. I think most of the bloggers there were a lot younger so you can imagine the energy filling the room.

We watched a video about CPK’s beginnings. Gift certificates were later given to those who successfully answered the trivia questions. Next, we were asked to decorate our CPK boxes (they dumped art supplies on each table like colored glue, ribbons, decals, crayons, etc) with the best PICK-UP LINE we could think of. This was really hilarious because these bloggers turned out to have really HOT minds! For the life of me, I could not think of any pick-up line. I began with one that said “Taste Heaven With Me” but stopped after seeing that this was sooo tame compared to some others. Haha…

The best part, at least for me, was when we made our own pizzas depending on the theme we chose. Very aptly, my pizza was the Thai Chicken one, which was so healthy because of its ingredients: scallions, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots and peanuts AND garnished with cilantro. I started out with a pizza crust, then one by one added the ingredients with the help of CPK’s friendly staff. My finished pizza was then marched off to be cooked in a hearth oven (the secret to the delicious CPK taste).

My pizza recipe

My pizza recipe

My pizza BEFORE it is cooked

My pizza BEFORE it was baked

The pizza I made!

My Thai Chicken pizza after it was baked

Next time you visit CPK, try one of their other pizza flavors:

1. BBQ Chicken Pizza – the most popular pizza and one of the original recipes of the founders

2. Greek Pizza – made from Mediterranean spiced grilled chicken and Mozzarella cheese, topped with a chilled Greek salad of cucumbers, red onions, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, Feta cheese and lemon-herb vinaigrett and served with homemade Tzatziki sauce and chopped Italian parsley

3. Jamaican Jerk Chicken – made from grilled Jamaican Jerk spiced chicken breast with spicy sweet Caribbgean sauce, Mozzarella cheese, applewood smoked bacon, mild onions, roasted red & yellow peppers and green onions

4. Cajun Pizza – made from blackened chicken and spicy Andouille sausage with Creole sauce, roasted red and yellow peppers, mild onions and Mozzarella cheese

Here are more pics of the night: