Disclosure: I was sent on a trip to the Nestle Headquarters and Test Kitchen in Cleveland, Ohio. All my expenses were covered for this trip, however all my opinions remain my own.
A couple of months ago I boarded a plane and headed to Cleveland, Ohio. I wasn't going for vacation or anything. In fact, I was going to learn all about Hot Pockets (which I will share more about later on). I have never been SO impressed with one company in my entire life.
The night before when we arrived, we were taken out to dinner at Chinato. This is a very upscale restaurant, with a wonderful dining experience. Walking through the doors was simply amazing. I have never been to a resaturant this fancy before, so I was super excited about the chance to eat somewhere other than O'Charleys and Burger King 🙂
We spent some time mingling when we first arrived and enjoying some delicious appetizers. Our entire meal that night was inspired by different Hot Pocket varieties. With each bite, this foodie was falling in love.
On our trip, I finally got to meet a blogger that I had chatted with before online for work, and have followed her blog before — the gorgeous Jenn Quillen behind The Rebel Chick.
As we sat down to enjoy our meal, the menu had me super excited!
Our menu was 5 courses of DELICIOUS food that again, was inspired by different varieties of Hot Pockets. I was so blown away by the meal, and by the man sitting next to me during dinner — the Head Chef in the Nestle Kitchen — Chef Lucien. I was so inspired just talking to him about food.
He gave me a few cooking tips while we were sitting there chatting waiting for dinner, and one very important tip — don't try to eat everything right now, because like I said — it is a 5 course menu. Check out this gorgeous food!
Dinner was simply amazing and we got to meet the chef and his staff of Chinato. He even gave each of us a bottle of Olive Oil that is from his personal label. I have yet to use it, but I will soon 🙂
The next day, we were whisked away to the Nestle Test Kitchen where we were met with a spread of delicious breakfast items.
There was SO much to choose from. For a foodie like me, this was heaven. I don't normally eat breakfast — unless you throw delicious food like this in front of me.
The orange juice wasn't just orange flavored. It has ginger and pumpkin infused in it (they gave us the recipe), and the bacon? Omg — I ate like 5 pieces. It was covered in walnuts and maple syrup. The yogurt parfait was delicious as well. EVERYTHING I tasted was good.
After breakfast, we were whisked away into the board room where we talked about taste and sandwiches. What makes a sandwich mouthwatering for me? That was the question that they posed to us, so we broke into groups and made boards with magazines –using different words and pictures to describe the perfect sandwich.
We called this Creative Inspiration.
While we listened to each person from Nestle talk to us about what inspires them to create wholesome and fresh tasting food for us — the consumers, they served the most amazing popcorn snack I ever tasted.
A foodie in a food place like Nestle? Total heaven y'all.
After brainstorming and learning about what makes the perfect sandwich, we were once again whisked into the kitchen where we donned our own Chef jacket and shown how to create our own hot pocket! For me, this was not something new, as Kayla and I make a ton of stuffed bread meals for ourselves like my Stromboli and our own Homemade Pizza Rolls.
This was THE highlight of my time at Nestle. Really — I love this jacket.
And check out my amazing hot pocket that I made!
Yes — I made that y'all IN THE NESTLE TEST KITCHEN!
At the end of the day, after learning all about the Hot Pockets brand, we got to meet Herbie the Hot Pocket himself. He is pretty super cute if you ask me 🙂
What I learned while at Hot Pockets
The one thing that I walked away with while at the Nestle Test Kitchen was this — just because it is frozen in a box doesn't mean that it's not good for you. Nestle really left me with a lasting impression on their brand. They work hard behind the scenes to bring me fresh food, real ingredients, and extreme flavor.
They look out for my family when it comes to the ingredients they choose. My family and I were already Hot Pocket lovers, but now? I am even a bigger fan of Nestle and all that they offer my family. When I visit the grocery store now, I look for their logo on the food, because I know it will be fresh and good for my family.
I can't wait to share with you about all the excitement surrounding Hot Pockets, but that will have to wait for another post!!
Do you love Hot Pockets? What is your favorite flavor?