January 03, 2013 // Franchising.com // Pasadena, Calif. – Blaze Pizza, a pioneer in the fast-casual artisan pizza category, announced that the company’s Executive Chef, and owner of Olio Pizzeria & Café in Los Angeles, Bradford Kent, and the pizzas he crafts, were featured in Zagat’s “Destination Pizzas: 10 Pies Worth a Trip.”
Zagat Guide’s “Destination Pizzas” noted the pizzas created by Chef Kent are “… darn near perfect. Brad Kent stokes the fire with olive and almond wood, keeping it around 800 to 850 degrees. He ferments three styles of dough separately and mixes them together for his preferred texture and flavor. What you get are pies with a uniformly crisp bottom, so no flopping, and a soft, chewy, fluffy slice.”
“We are thrilled that Chef Kent’s pizzeria was recognized by Zagat as one of 10 around the country worth traveling to,” said Elise Wetzel, president of Blaze Pizza. “Brad developed Blaze Pizza’s dough and signature recipes; one of the many competitive advantages of the company from both a product and operations perspective.”
Along with Chef Kent, Blaze Pizza’s operational team is strengthened by executives with decades of successful quick service restaurant experience. The company’s executive team has played a significant role in the growth of concepts including Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Wetzel’s Pretzels. Blaze Pizza currently operates company-owned units in Irvine and Pasadena, Calif., with four franchise locations in Southern California under development, all scheduled to open in spring 2013.
Blaze Pizza uses an assembly-line format that lets guests customize a signature pizza or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal toppings, most at no extra charge. Each 11-inch pizza is then “fast-fire’d” in a blazing-hot, open-hearth oven, and is ready in less than two minutes. Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese to accommodate pizza fans with specific dietary needs as well. The restaurant’s menu also features signature salads, lemonades, beer & wine, and house-made S’more Pies for dessert.
About Blaze Pizza
A creation of Elise and Rick Wetzel (founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels) and backed by investors including Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner, Blaze Pizza features the talents of Chef Bradford Kent of Olio Pizzeria & Café, who developed the dough and recipes exclusively for the company. The company, which Forbes.com named a “Hot New Restaurant Chain from an Established Brand,” plans to develop 15+ Southern California locations by the end of 2013, partnering with franchisees to grow the company nationally. To learn more, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/BlazePizza.