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California Pizza Kitchen Launches National Search for Most Creative Kids' Pizza; Sales from Winning Recipe to Benefit Children's Hospitals.

LOS ANGELES -- Chili corn dog pizza, spaghetti pizza, chicken finger pizza... what will kids think of next? California Pizza Kitchen (Nasdaq:CPKI) is teaming up with select children's hospitals across the country to find America's most creative kid cooks with a knack for making the perfect pizza. The winner of the CPKids Most Creative Pizza Contest will have his or her pizza featured on CPK's menu for up to one year with proceeds up to $100,000 from the sale of the winning pizza benefiting select children's hospitals.

The contest's judging panel includes celebrities such as Steve Schirripa from "The Sopranos" and Joe Farrell of "Trading Spaces: Family," as well as Emily Smith from FamilyFun online and CPK's co-founders and co-CEOs Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax. All entries will be judged on taste, creativity of the ingredients, creativity of the recipe name, the pizza's aesthetic appeal and the clarity of the recipe's writing.

"Pizza is the perfect vehicle for getting kids to try new foods," says Larry Flax, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen. "We're hoping to get kids to expand their horizons and be as creative as possible, while at the same time support the wonderful work of our nation's children's hospitals."

The CPKids Most Creative Pizza Contest is looking for entries demonstrating adventurous flavor combinations and out-of-the-box ideas, just like the inventive California-style cuisine CPK features on its regular menu. Whether it's a peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese pizza, nothing should be considered too unusual -- as long as it tastes good!

"Twenty years ago nobody would have thought of eating a barbeque chicken pizza," says Rick Rosenfield. "But today, it's a favorite among CPK fans everywhere."

To enter the CPKids Most Creative Pizza Contest, children merely need to include a list of their favorite toppings and what type of sauce they would use on their perfect pizza. They don't have to include instructions for making the dough or specific cooking times or temperatures. Children ages 6 to 13 are eligible to participate.

Recipes can be submitted online at www.cpk.com by clicking on the CPKids Most Creative Pizza Contest icon. All entries must be received by September 24, 2004. Children must review the contest rules in their entirety with a parent or legal guardian before submitting their entry. Five finalists will be chosen, and the grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card good for one year at any California Pizza Kitchen. The remaining finalists will each receive $250 gift certificates.

Mail-in entries will only be accepted from groups of 10 or more. Teachers, scout troop leaders, camp counselors and other children's group leaders interested in having their kids participate in the contest as a group should contact Erin Murphy at emurphy@cpk.com.

California Pizza Kitchen is the leader in California-style cuisine and is widely known for its innovative menu items. California Pizza Kitchen's original creations are available at its 146 full-service restaurants, 23 CPK ASAP locations and in the freezer cases of grocery stores. California Pizza Kitchen provides a range of creative California dishes, from the signature California-style, hearth-baked pizzas to creative salads, pastas, soups and sandwiches. Children who dine at California Pizza Kitchen choose from an extensive menu, recently named "The Best Kids Menu in America" by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 9, 2004
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