[Editor's Note: California Pizza Kitchen introduced gluten-free crusts but pulled the product due to cross contamination. Updated August 3, 2012]
Yes, you read that title right. California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) will add gluten-free crust to its June 29th new menu roll out. The chain already has a gluten-free menu, but it has not included pizza until now.
"The new menu will introduce nine new items, as well as a new focus on identifying options for better health and wellness," said CPK’s co-chief executive Rick Rosenfield. The new menu will identify the chain’s use of natural chicken, turkey, pork and sausage products, and will add salads with fewer than 600 calories for the full serving.
This Examiner has not been to a California Pizza Kitchen since being diagnosed, so it will be interesting to see how the crust is received. There is no mention of the pizza crust supplier, or what safe handling procedures will be introduced to ensure the gluten-free pizzas will be prepared without cross contamination.
Because this Examiner works locally at a gluten-free consultant and has been in kitchen's where pizzas are prepared, it is very important to establish safe handling procedures and to verify the gluten-status of each topping/ingredient used to prepare the pizzas. It is quite easy to prevent cross contamination in this type of an environment, but all of the staff has to be well trained and committed to providing safe, yummy, gluten-free pizza.
There are four California Pizza Kitchen locations in Georgia: Norcross, Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta. This Examiner will definitely try out the gluten-free crust....what about you?
---------------------------- Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com Gluten-Free Product Specialist, Return to Eden Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA