A pizza California here
HOW do you bring the essence of the Californian spirit to Perth?
With good nosh, apparently, because we already have the sun, sand, sea and laidback lifestyle that our east-coast American cousins enjoy.
That’s according to California Pizza Kitchen head chef Damian Hall, who has had the enviable responsibility of bringing to life the tried-and-tested menu for the first time on Australian shores.
“Only 20 per cent of the menu is pizzas,” Hall said.
“We have a lot of salads and pastas and the most exciting ones are the mains.
“There’s plenty of Asian influence and Mexican influences as well.”
The menu debuted at CPK Australia’s flagship full-service restaurant at Hillarys Boat Harbour recently, with the largest CPK restaurant in the world replacing the much-loved Jetty’s Restaurant site.
And like the original California eatery, the Hillarys restaurant celebrates WA’s iconic coastline with views of the water from the Sorrento Quay boardwalk, making it perfect for one of our favourite pastimes.
“For Australia, we’re going to develop a breakfast menu for summer,” CPK director and corporate operations manager Hannah Peard said.
“We’ll be the first CPK in the world to have it.”
In order to prepare for the mammoth task of operating the 923sq m restaurant, the CPK Australia pioneers spent time at the food chain’s headquarters in Los Angeles, honing their skills and learning the ins and outs of the American-style menu.
But back on home soil, it was time to pick what would work for Perth folk.
The menu is broken down into small plates, “shareables”, soups, salads, mains, pastas, pizzas with three different crusts and desserts.
The CPK team expects that there will be a few hits, including the Mexican street corn, sunnyside up and potato pizza, and seared Ahi tuna burger with a house-made Ahi patty topped with crispy nori, fresh avocado and rocket. Another meal tipped to be a smash with Perth diners is the smores jar, a Belgian chocolate pudding with dark chocolate chunks, a double Graham cracker and toasted marshmallows. The menu also incorporates handcrafted sangrias, a premium cocktail selection with fresh fruits and herbs, and a well-curated list of premium wines designed for exploring a range of international flavours.
Kitchen manager Damian Hall.