Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beautiful Monterey and the Dole Blogger Summit

I just returned from a 3 day trip from beautiful Monterey, California for the Dole Blogger Summit. Take a peak at my trip through the lens of my camera.

Below is the wonderful group of bloggers who attended the event and the cute little baby, Caleb was the star of the show, his parents are Maria and Josh of Two Peas and their Pod.

A lot of people immediately think of pineapples and bananas when they hear Dole, but you'll be surprised to learn that Dole is actually the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world! Dole works with over 9,000 small growers, employs 76,000 people and distributes their products to 90 countries.

Dole sources vegetables from 38 independent growers in California, 10 in Arizona, 2 in Ohio, 2 in Florida and one in Canada. These independent growers are the primary source for growing on over 50,000 annualized crop acres.

The leaders of salad trends come from restaurants, whether creatively used in salads, in dressings, or other dishes. Take a look at some of the dishes we had at La Bicyclette in Carmel-by-the-Sea using Dole salads.

Pictured below is a spectacular Butternut Squash pizza with sage, Gruyere, speck ham, and Dole arugula.

And this carrot risotto pictured below was just dreamy! This one I plan on recreating soon!

Dole through a Salad party on the Ocean Terrace of the hotel where we stayed, the Clement Monterey. The setting was spectacular, the Pacific ocean in the background, mild weather, good food and great conversations.

Pictured below I am standing next to Amie from the Healthy Apple and Maria from Two Peas and their Pod.

Salad was the theme and it was prepared every way you could think of, grilled, pureed, muddles, you name it.

Aren't these centerpieces simple and elegant! I love this idea for a summer centerpiece for an outdoor party, and a head of lettuce for a centerpiece is so inexpensive!

And a basket of celery, artichokes and radishes is stunning and simple. Ideas I plan on using this summer!

Lots of salad inspiration, I can't wait to get in the kitchen and start using some of the ideas and recreating some of the lovely meals we enjoyed. If you are ever in California, you should make Monterey part of your trip, it's a quaint town, with the beautiful coastline, mountains nearby and lots of farms. My kind of place!


Paula-bell'alimento said...

Such a great recap Gina! Loved getting to see you again. I'm making that risotto stat too! xoxo

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I loved seeing you too, hope we get invited to more events together : )

Ricki said...

Loved the recap and the fab photos. I plan on doing that risotto, too--obviously that one made an impression on us! It was really lovely meeting you there. :)

Maria said...

It was SO good to see you! Can't wait until Seattle! xo

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I'd love to see how everyone recreates it Ricki!

Maria, me too!

chris mayhew said...

Gina - Beautiful post! So happy you are salad-inspired! We enjoyed having you all here in Monterey with us, and always love the chance to share our passion for healthy food.

Chris from Dole

brandi said...

you got some gorgeous pictures! i'm still dreaming about that risotto.

marmighty said...

Great photos! I am actually from the Central Coast. I live about 30 minutes away from Monterey. It's truly an amazing place to live. We have such great produce and weather. I am glad you enjoyed your stay. Next time you should also come up to Santa Cruz County.

Kristellys said...

That pumpkin pizza looks phenomenal. I think I'll recreate this myself if you haven't already!!

Amelia @ Eating Made Easy said...

Beautiful pics and miss all you lovely ladies!