Highlights from my General Mills Tour thanks to the #PlatefullBloggerRetreat
Last Wednesday I had the amazing opportunity to take part in the Platefull Blogger Retreat complements of the very generous folks at General Mills. They treated myself and 15 other great bloggers to a few days of pampering and a behind the scenes tour of General Mills. I ate amazing food, and met many wonderful people both in the blogging world, and at General Mills.
After surviving my awful flying experience, I was picked up at the Minneapolis Airport, and shuttled to the beautiful Marquette Hotel. General Mills really outdid themselves, and roomed us in the top notch executive level. Not only did we have a beautiful view, but we also had amazing access to the Executive Suite loaded with gourmet foods, snacks, and beverages.
There was also a great General Mills Gift Basket waiting for me when I arrived in my room. It was loaded with soon to be released products that I know you all will love! My room was so spacious, clean, and fit for a queen. When I looked at my itinerary I was blown away by breakfast in bed, and a day of pampering at the BLAST Blow Dry Bar.
I had an amazing Filet Mignon steak at Zelo and got to chat with some special ladies (and Casey) at General Mills. I have to say, people in Minnesota are just so awesome! I wish I was feeling well so that I would have got to really engage with them more. General Mills has some gems at their campus!
The next day, we headed over to BLAST got amazing shampoos, blow outs, hair styles, and makeup. I felt like such a celebrity that day with all the primping and pampering I received! It was so fun to see all my fellow bloggers getting the royal treatment.
We then headed out to the very impressive General Mills. It is so huge that they refer to it as a campus. Whomever works there is super lucky because the place has everything you would ever need. Daycare, restaurants, a company store–all built into one friendly environment. The architecture was also so stunning throughout the building, and even outdoors.
It was so awesome to get to see the Betty Crocker Studios, the and Pillsbury Cookoff Test Kitchens. I also got to see how Betty Crocker evolved over the years, and we got to taste some of last year’s Pillsbury Cook Off winning recipes. I only wish I didn’t have a sinus infection so that I could have enjoyed the recipes.
As a food blogger who loves to take pretty food pictures, I was amazed at all the rooms of props that General Mills has for their photography. Their equipment, and dedicated kitchens, and photorooms were such a site to see! They were telling us they had even more rooms with props, and had to give some away!!
We saw some of the rooms used for food photography, and also learned some tricks of the trade when it comes to foodie pics. I can always appreciate some help when it comes to improving my food pictures because no one is perfect!
At the close of the day, we got to try some new General Mills products from brands like Pillsbury, Food Should Taste Good, Tortinos, and more! There was a little trick to it though! Whatever food item we liked the best, we had to choose because it would be a potential ingredient for our Chopped Challenge!!
Yep, that’s right! We got to participate in a cooking challenge with our teammates using the ingredient we each picked. Our final three ingredients for an entre were *from what I remember*:
- Tortinos Taco Bites
- Old El Paso Honey Chicken Rice Bowls
- Food Should Taste Good Chives Pita Puffs
We decided to make a really unique dish which consisted of Mexican inspired Aranci, Sauted Chicken, and guacamole. I loved it all, and so did the judges because we won second place! It was such a fun time, and one that I will always cherish!
General Mills did such a great job at planning this trip for us bloggers to show their appreciation for our efforts throughout the year. I hope they know how much we all appreciated it and enjoyed their extreme generosity! Hopefully, some day I will be able to revisit without all my issues haha!