LAROSA’S NEXT NEW RECIPE CHALLENGE ENCOURAGES TEAM MEMBER CULINARY CREATIVITY
April 27, 2018
Winning Four Cheese Flatbread Pizza Recipe Added to LaRosa’s Menu
CINCINNATI, OH –April 27, 2018– LaRosa’s, Inc. invited the 3,500+ team members who work in its 64 company and franchise-owned pizzerias and in its Guest Service Center, from servers to kitchen staff to call center specialists to executives, to contribute their most creative recipe ideas in its Next New Recipe Challenge. It’s a bi-annual contest aimed at generating excitement, creating comradery and ultimately developing new menu selections for LaRosa’s guests. For the Challenge, team members competed to create a new flavor recipe using LaRosa’s popular Four-Cheese Flatbread Pizza as a basis, and then selecting from nine ‘mystery ingredients’ such as balsamic glaze, chorizo, pesto, fig jam and tomato salsa. Over 200 recipes were submitted, with the winning recipe, Caprese Pesto Four-Cheese Flatbread Pizza, coming from Sandie Caudill, a long-time server at LaRosa’s Amelia. Sandie received a $ 2,000. cash prize, and her recipe will be featured on LaRosa’s menu now through June 3.
“We were overwhelmed by how much thought our team members put into their recipes and how great they all were”, noted LaRosa’s President and Chief Culinary Officer, Mark LaRosa. LaRosa and his culinary team actually prepared and tasted each of the submitted recipes over a period of several months to test their viability in the kitchen. “Once we narrowed down the recipes to fifteen, we had a panel of five culinary specialists from the LaRosa’s kitchens taste them”, he said. LaRosa’s used a 100-point scale with 50% weighted value for overall taste and visual appeal, 25% for originality of the recipe, 15% for photographic quality and 10% for creativity in use of ingredients in the blind tastings.
Begun in 2012, the goal of the Next New Recipe Challenge is to channel the creative energies of LaRosa’s team members who are extremely passionate about the food and know what LaRosa’s guests are most interested in. “Our team members were already experimenting in pizzeria kitchens on their own and coming up with tons of good ideas, so we wanted to build on that”, LaRosa said. In fact, Rondos, which are rolls of pizza dough brushed with garlic-pesto sauce and stuffed with provolone cheese and either pepperoni or spinach, as well as Cheesy Flat Bread, both popular selections on LaRosa’s menu, originated as team member ideas. “Our people are so passionate about what they do and we found that they put so much thought and pride into their recipe submissions’, he continued. LaRosa’s Next New Recipe Challenge connects the entire LaRosa’s team to the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Buddy LaRosa, who was always inspired by his Italian family recipes.
Brandon Smith, General Manager of LaRosa’s Mt. Washington was selected as the second-place winner for his Fig & Prosciutto Flatbread Pizza and awarded $ 1,000. Michael “Mac” Clements, a cook at LaRosa’s Mason, took home third place and $ 500 for his different take on a Caprese Flatbread Pizza recipe that was not as simply prepared as the first-place winner.
LaRosa’s was founded in 1954 on Cincinnati’s West Side by Buddy LaRosa. It is now a $156 million restaurant company with 64 pizzerias serving neighborhoods in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. To learn more about LaRosa’s, go to www.larosas.com.
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