California Pizza Kitchen in Simi Valley Town Center
Food - Drink
The Famous Chef Who Gave California Pizza Kitchen Its Original Pies
Chef Ed LaDou became known for fresh, healthy gourmet pizzas starting in 1981, and surprisingly, his fancy pies would eventually link him to the chain California Pizza Kitchen.
When LaDou joined California restaurant Spago, he created “pizza art” with thin-crust pizzas adorned with gourmet ingredients like duck sausage, scallops, roe, and smoked salmon.
When LaDou left Spago in 1984, he had created about 250 pizza recipes. When the two founders of California Pizza Kitchen began planning out their menu, they turned to chef LaDou.
In 1985, CPK opened as a casual upscale pizza spot in Beverly Hills, with a menu developed by pizza master LaDou, including the company's now-iconic Original BBQ Chicken Pizza.
CPK evolved into an international chain with about 200 locations across 11 countries and U.S. territories. The original BBQ pizza as well as copycat recipes remain wildly popular.
Other CPK pizzas showcase ingredients that were no doubt inspired by LaDou's style, including fancy cheeses, healthy cauliflower crusts, and unique sauces like Thai peanut.