Dole Summit

by Amie on May 11, 2012

O what an amazing trip…

Last week I had the pleasure of working with the Dole Fresh Vegetable team out in Monterey, California.

One word sums up the delicious vegetables, beautiful sights and incredible people.

Exceptional.

I had such an amazing time and was truly honored to be  invited out to Monterrey.  The folks at Dole were fabulous and I learned so much about how the vegetables are grown and was able to see the process from the fields to my plate.

We had a fabulous Salad Party on the outdoor patio of our hotel where we grilled romaine at the BBQ station, enjoyed crudites with guacamole and salsa in fun popcorn containers and had the chance to taste a little bit of everything- so many fun ways to eat veggies.

And you all know how much I love my veggies.

We took a trip to the Dole plant where they gave us a Lettuce Quiz and had us guess the type of veggie in each container- let’s just say there are more forms of lettuce that I had ever imagined.

I actually thought I knew every lettuce variety, but apparently not.

Dole has so many and it was fun to taste the distinct textures and tastes of each one from Romaine to Butter to Radicchio to Bibb.

Then we were off to the fields…

My pretty toes were mushed in the iceberg field.

And here’s the core of an iceberg lettuce head- I actually ate a whole head right on the fields. I’m sure you saw the funny pictures of me on Twitter with this- it was pretty hysterical but tasted SO fresh and delish.

I’ve never had better tasting iceberg in my life.

Honestly.

And I’m usually not an Iceberg Cheerleader.

Pretty rows of lettuce all in a row with the beautiful backdrop of the Monterrey mountains.

It was breathtaking and for a moment I thought I was dreaming. I mean- I’m surrounded by yellow cabs in Manhattan everyday and then all of a sudden here I am in the California sunshine eating heads of iceberg with tractors and mountains.

We spent a whole morning driving along the 17 mile drive and tour of Pebble Beach, which had by far the most beautiful and breathtaking views I’ve ever seen.

I kinda wanted to just jump into the water- veggies in hand and all. But I think it was a bit too chilly for that.

So I just decided to snap some pretty pictures for you to see – and I stayed dry, munched on my Dole cherry tomatoes and explored Pebble  Beach.

The Pebble Beach Golf Club- O my goodness what a beautiful spot. I’d be happy camping out there amongst some pretty fancy schmancy people and pro golfers.

Thank you Dole for an amazing trip. I for one am not kidding when I say I’m actually going to pick up more Dole Salad mixes than I did before this trip.

Why?

Well, ya see we learned about pesticide use and so many other incredible things that Dole does with their vegetables and it made me realize that I’m missing out on something pretty darn good.

They use such a small amount of pesticides and everything was incredible clean and perfectly monitored.

This trip was well worth the trip to the West Coast- I love California and met amazing foodies as well as the talented Dole team and learned a great deal about how Dole salads and vegetables are brought from the farms to our plates.

I don’t know about you but I’m having a Dole Salad Party on Memorial Day Weekend at my beach home and I can’t wait to serve the Dole Salad Mixes and start chowing down.

You probably already know I’ve never met a veggie I didn’t like but these salads and veggies are topping my list as favorites.  Plus, they look so pretty on the table- almost too nice to eat.

But that’s not stopping me.

I just munched on a head of Butter lettuce this morning with an avocado, cherry tomatoes and eggs.

So perfect. So simple. So Dole.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Vita @ Juicer Depot May 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

It looks so pretty there. The salad in the popcorn container looked amazing. Grilled romaine? Never heard of doing that. I would be interested in knowing about that.

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Amie May 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

Thank you! It was amazing and the grilled romaine is so fun!!

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Jen May 11, 2012 at 10:31 am

Glad you enjoyed it. Wow -why aren’t we all living in paradise?!

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Chris M. May 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Love it – so perfect, so simple, so Dole! It was great meeting you and getting to share our passion for the healthy delicious food we grow! Thanks for coming – hope to see you in NY!
Chris

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Amie May 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Thank you so much Chris; I miss your team already and truly had the most amazing time with Dole. Looking forward to my salad parties this summer and hope to see you in NYC soon! Have a wonderful weekend and thank you again; I was honored to be a part of the group in Monterrey.

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Ricki May 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

Thanks for the great recap, Amie, and for bringing back memories of those gorgeous views! It was great fun meeting you and everyone there. I couldn’t resist that grilled romaine, either–had to do my own (vegan) recreation–which turned out great (though I have no idea how it compared to the original!) :D

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Amie May 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Awe; you are just so darn great, Ricki. I loved seeing you in Cali and had SO much fun with you. Thanks for a fun trip!! Come visit in NYC- hope to see you again soon. Have a fabulous day darling!
xoox

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Maria May 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

LOVED meeting you!! Can’t wait until Seattle!

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Amie May 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Awe; DITTO right back at ya darling. SO excited to see you in a few weeks in Seattle…can’t wait to see my lil’ pea again and give him a big hug. Have a fabulous day. Chat soon! xoox

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