Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Premium Soup Tasting and A Give Away!


I was recently invited to attend a special new frozen soup product tasting event held at Cooking By The Book, a professional culinary event space in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. The elegant rooms were beautifully decorated with black draping, multiple candles and beautiful fresh flower arrangements.


The serving tables were readied with carafes of wine, white bowls and dishes.


As a first course, a delicious array of Italian style appetizers were offered....


...and enjoyed by a varied group of New York City bloggers who were in attendance.



Two very handsome and talented chefs were also in attendance -- Chef Michael Christiansen from Unilever, on the left, and Chef Fabio Viviani , a successful Los Angeles restaurateur and a popular Bravo "Top Chef" finalist, was on the right.

They were here to introduce a new, hearty, restaurant quality line of frozen Meal Soups for Two, made by Bertolli!



There are four hearty meal soups in the line:

Chicken and Rotini Pasta
Tomato Florentine
Chicken Minestrone
Tuscan Beef and Vegetables


We watched a short video overview about the soups that was shot in Italy, as the soup recipes are based on soups offered in the finest restaurants in Rome.

We were then lead to the event beautiful state of the art kitchen, where we watched a soup "cook off" between Chef Mike and Chef Fabio.


Fabio begun to prepare his soup by hand, doing lots of vegetable preparation and chopping.


Meanwhile, all Chef Mike had to do was open the package of frozen Bertolli's Hearty Meal Soup For Two, place it in a pot, add a cup a water, and let it simmer.  Chef Christiansen explained to us that each of the soups fresh ingredients are cooked individually, and then flash frozen, so when the soup is reheated at home they stay firm and flavorful. Great care is made to balance the herbs and spices to bring out the delicious natural flavors.


No surprise that Chef Mike won the cook off, as his soup was ready to serve in ten minutes! I love to make my own soups but I'd also enjoy this type of convenience on a busy day.

You can watch a minute of the fun banter between the chefs in the video below:





We were then treated to a sample bowl of each of the four flavors of soup, accompanied by a different selection of crusty Italian bread or focaccia, and a selection of red or white wine.


The soups were all delicious in their own unique way! I really liked the rich and creamy Tomato Florentine soup. It was a flavorful tomato bisque, full of chunks of roasted chicken and cheese filled tortellini, with a hint of basil. I actually went back for a second serving of this soup!

My next favorite soup was the Tuscan Beef and Vegetables. It had many pieces of tender braised beef in its richly flavored broth, along with mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, and bow tie pasta.

The next two soups were a tie in my taste test: the Chicken Minestrone, which was full of roasted white meat chicken, beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots tomatoes and pasta, which all combined to make a hearty vegetable broth was a deliciously robust minestrone.  The Chicken and Rotini Pasta soup which had a simple old fashioned home made chicken soup flavor, was full of roasted white meat chicken, pasta, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and celery. It would be the soup I'd reach for to offer my grandsons, as they would enjoy its more simple chicken soup taste without too many added spices.
Although I was invited to this event by Bertolli foods, my opinions are all my own.

As we dined on our soups we were treated to beautifully sung opera!.  A ten second video:






The evening ended with an array of Italian desserts -- cannoli, cookies and Tiramisu!  As we departed we were treated to a gift bag by Bertolli, containing a bag of our favorite flavor soup to enjoy again in the future.

And now for the give away! 

Bertolli is kind enough to offer coupons for you to try the new frozen meal soup, and also the chance to win this soup ladle and ceramic bread dish so that you can serve your soup in style!   Sorry, but due to shipping costs, this set can only be mailed to USA residents. Please leave a comment on this post, and if you don't have a blog please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. If you are a follower of my blog please let me know in a second comment for an extra chance to win. The give away winner will be picked by Random.org, and will be announced on my blog on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011.  Good luck!

I'm linking to Foodie Friday
                     Pink Saturday
                     Seasonal Sunday
                     Mosaic Monday
                     On the Menu Monday

Please visit all the blog events and join in all the fun!



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103 comments:

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Cool, and yummy! How fun you got to be a part of this event. The soup sounds perfect for a gal like me, that there are days I just do not have time to cook a full meal for the family. I would love to try it.

Snap said...

I bet that was loads of fun! I've tried some of the other Bertolli frozen foods and they were good. I love soup, so will look for them this weekend when I go to the grocery. I'll be back later for another try as a follower! :D :D

Riet said...

That was a wonderful treat and a lovely outing. I haven't seen these frozen soups in Holland yet but Bertoli is a wellknown Italian brand here so I think they will bring it over here too. Everything lookes beautiful and delicious. have a nice weekend Pat.
Riet

From the Kitchen said...

Bertolli products are really first class so I'm not surprised that they've come up with a few winning soup recipes. I do like to prepare my own soups but I also enjoy having something delicious on hand for when I want to be a little pampered.

The "party" looked perfect from appetizers to classical music. How nice to mix, mingle and dine in that atmosphere.

Best,
Bonnie

Old Kitty said...

Wow!!! Thanks for sharing these pics and clips! My mouth is watering at the yummy food on display and nice to see a food company taking their produce seriously - using the great chefs and ingredients!

Good luck to everyone entering your lovely giveaway! Take care
x

Barbara F. said...

This was a special event. I would have been in Heaven with soup, pastry and opera, all in one night!! Great photos, and I get a huge kick out of those chef brothers. xo

Kris said...

Woo hoo..what fun. And those two handsome chefs ain't bad either!!!!

Barbara F. said...

I am your biggest fan (I mean that literally and figuratively :) lol and a very happy follower. xo

Vittle me this... said...

yummy! that event looks so wonderful!

Next time, you have to tell me you are going so we can go together!

EliFla said...

May I tell you the truth??? Here in Italy Bertolli sells only EVO oil, no soups, even because I think nobody in Italy would buy it!!!!

Anyway I thing that meeting was funny and interesting even because chef Fabio..is really awsome and bravo!!
Hugs , Flavia

ARLENE said...

What a wonderful event! I'm drooling over Fabio and the antipasti, lol. I'd love to try one of these soups for those days when I just don't have time to chop and simmer.

kitty said...

Mmmm, the soups sound fabulous! This is such a great give-away. Please enter me!

Sue said...

You always find the best places to be and visit, Pat!!! How fun to have participated in this event. I never turn down food. LOL I'd love to be entered to win this gift. Glad you came over to sign up for mine, too. Good luck!

Sue said...

And Yes, I am a faithful follower!
:-) Sue

Ellen said...

Thanks for the "find" and the give away!!! Our blog is

www.bakeitwithbooze.blogspot.com

I'm one of your faithful!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

How fun to be invited to a 'soup banquet'! Soups, desserts and opera...sounds fabulous.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Now that sounds like a fun event Pat! The soups sound great, I'd love a chance to try them, thanks for the fun give-away:@)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Yep, I'm a follower:@)

Happy@Home said...

Now that looks like a fun event. I try to stay away from canned soups due to the high sodium, but these frozen soups full of fresh veggies sound so good. It sounds like the perfect thing to keep in our freezer now that we are empty-nesters.
So glad you shared this with us.

GrandmaK said...

I have seen the soups in the grocery store...walked by as I was in a hurry at the time. Will have to give them a try. I'll just bet it was a wonderful evening! Cathy

GrandmaK said...

Yes, I follow you and I'll follow you anywhere! ;)0 Cathy

Ginny said...

Soup is my favorite food, and Phil eats a can every night at bedtime! For years, I made only soups for meals! We never miss Top Chef, and well remember Fabio, how cool!!!! Did you get to meet him and talk to him? I can't wait to try this! Everything looks so fancy and beautiful, and the food mouth watering!

Vee said...

What a fun evening for you New York bloggers! Your favorite sounds as if it would be my favorite, too. I adore tomato bisque. What? People talked through the opera singing? Oh dear.

pam said...

You know it's funny. I have more time with an empty nest but love easier meals---- less time. These sound intriguing. How fun that you got to be part of this.

The Gathering Place said...

How lucky to be a part of a fun, interesting evening. I will keep my eyes open for those soups. I wonder if I can find an opera singer to go with mine?

kitty said...

I am a new follower!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a fun event...and a nice evening! The chefs are indeed very handsome and it sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for thinking of us! I've used some products in this brand and know I would love this! Hugs! ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm a follower and a friend! ♥♥♥

ellen b. said...

Oh my what a fun event to be able to attend. Fabio was a favorite of mine on Top Chef. We went to his restaurant in Moorpark California while we were living in Cali. Fun times!

Pondside said...

Not a US resident, but I certainly enjoyed the post. You get to such interesting events, Pat!
You know, I've never had cannoli. I'll have to try to find an Italian bakery in Vancouver to see what I've missed.

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This is someting I would have LOVED to go to!You were so fortunate to attend! What fun!!!!!
Thanks for the chance to win. I would love this soup for 2 since I am an empty nester. The soup ladel would be a welcome addition to my culinary utensils. I would love to serve bread with soup using the gorgeous white ceramic bread dish!
What a great giveaway. Thanks for the chance to wim!
xo Yvonne

WhiteStone said...

Oooh, Bertolli's soup offerings look yummy! Count me in on the drawing!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, What a neat tasting you got to attend... All of those soups sound wonderful. I would love that Tomato Florentine. YUM!!!!

As you know, I do not participate in Giveaways --but that is a good one.

Hugs,
Betsy

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Pat - What a fun evening you had. On a day when I'm too busy, this would be a nice convenience.

Sara Lorayne said...

What a fun event! Lucky you. And lucky us to have a chance to win the giveaway. This new Bertolli soup sounds like something special.

Cindy said...

Those soups all sound very delicious! I hope they arrive on grocery shelves here in Canada some time soon. I make a lot of soup, but like you said, it would be nice to have a great soup ready to pull out and warm up.
Hugs, Cindy

Olga said...

What an interesting event. Everything looks so delicious. And even an opera singer!

Proud Italian Cook said...

What a fun evening for you Pat, everything looks yummy especially those big appetizer platters, and of course I have to mention Fabio, I love him!

Sara said...

You go to the most fun things!!!! That soup looks really good - and I'm thinking it's a lot easier on a wintery night.

Maybe I'll win and get to try one -
nhsarab at yahoo dot com

Sara said...

And, yes - I follow your blog through Google Reader...

Just a little something from Judy said...

I think the Bertolli company was smart to invite a blogger like you to their tasting. You certainly did the soup justice. Just reading the lists of ingredients made me want to go and buy some for my husband and me. The banterings amoung some talented chefs sure must have added to the enjoyment of the event. What a fun and generous giveaway.

Mary said...

Oh Pat~ I'm so envious! What a fun event to attend! I loved watching Fabio on Top Chef! The soups sound delicious~ I'm anxious for soup weather and the Tomato Florentine sounds like it would be a favorite of ours too!

Mary said...

Thanks for the chance to win this giveway! I'm a follower & you're my favorite tour guide :)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You are so lucky to get to go to such an exciting event Pat. I would have been thrilled beyond words. Thanks for letting us tag along. Great photos as always.
Sam

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

How fun and delicious - all wrapped up in one!!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

me! me! me! I would love that soup or ladle or anything! LOL! I actually like the Bertolli frozen meals in a time crunch. I would love to try their soups. You are a lucky lady to be invited! blessings ~ tanna

Tracy said...

WOW... such lush surroundings and gorgeous appetizers. Bertolli makes good products. I'd be excited to try the soup when home in the US sometime. No Bertolli here...LOL! But you know, Chef Fabio could come and cook or heat me up some soup any day... any day! ;o) Is he part of the giveaway? haha... He's too cute...*sigh*... LOL! Thanks for the fun, Pat--Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

Jo said...

LUCKY,AND BLESSED!wow what would I do to enjoy something like this,sooo much fun.
Thank you for sharing, I'm dreaming I was there and tasted all this delightful foodies.
~JO

Carol said...

I make my own soup but I also love the convenience! Looks like an amazing time. I really like those cannoli :)
Have a great weekend!

Carol said...

I follow and you go to such great places, I'd follow you anywhere, Pat!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

What a fun event! The soups sound wonderful and I would love to try them. Please enter me in your giveaway!

Chatty Crone said...

All I can say is giveaways are hard - I want everyone to win!

skcz at comcast dot net

Thanks,
sandie

Chatty Crone said...

I am a follower! sandie

Sheila said...

Pat - you must have enjoyed the evening so much. what a great way to advertise a new product. inviting bloggers to the event is such good advertising. I love making homemade soup and often do but these soups would be great to have for last minute meals.

Lovella ♥ said...

Can I add my vote for Ellen ..or Vee? Smile.

Anways. .it looks like a lot of fun Pat. I smiled as I thought of my conversation yesterday with the health department in preparation for a kitchen theatre event MGCC are going to be doing a demo at. I am amazed at the things we are required to do. Did you happen to notice your chef's stick a thermometer in your bowl of soup before letting you taste it? I thought not.
I'm glad you had such a great night out.

Oliag said...

I watch all the Top Chef shows and Fabio is my favorite! He is hilarious!..and always cooks delicious Italian food of course:) Did you get to speak to him?

The whole day sounds like a blast!

Oliag said...

Oh ...and I have been a follower for a long time:)!

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Pat.

And, happy soup! We love soup in our family, and these sound and look delicious. Quick things are my friends on work days.

And, I love the bread tray!!!

Beverly said...

Thank you for this opportunity to win.

You know I am one of your long time and forever followers.

Houseelf said...

What a fabulous evening Pat. Sorry for the catch up again. I could do with one of those chefs here- either would do, especially if they did the washing up afterwards. LOL

Like you I like making my own soup. My fav (until this 24C heat struck) was onion soup with grilled cheese on bread.
These ones do sound good.

Sarah said...

Looks like a fun event. Soup is a staple around our home. I'll give these a try.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks everyone --it was a wonderful evening and I was thrilled to be invited!

For all who asked, yes I got a chance to talk with Chef Fabio. He and Chef Mike mingled at the party with us all. He is quite a charmer and very funny!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Wow Pat, good food, wonderful company, meeting the chefs, and music too. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Bertoli is always in my Freezer, my husband and the girls love it.

Wishing you a gorgeous weekend. Hope you are enjoying cooler weather like we are today in Massachusetts.
Karen

La Petite Gallery said...

NYC has it all. What a fun day.
The singer could sing all day for me. The food looked so wonderfyl and I always buy Bertolli even the oils.
Yvonne

La Petite Gallery said...

How can I get the coupons, Yvonne

nanny said...

You lucky lady.....I love Top Chef and loved Fabio!!
I can't wait to find this wonderful soup and try it. Way to go Bertolli!!!!
I'll bet I like the tomato bisque best too!!

nanny said...

And I am a follower!!!

Donna said...

Wow, what a special and yummy event! I buy a lot of Bertolli products, really really good! The soups all sound delicious.

Lui said...

Hmmm I love soups but I live very far so I can't join your giveaway. I hope the instant soups will be available in my country soon.

I remember Fabio on Top Chef!

Shelia said...

Hi Pat! Oh, yummy yummy! I'm sure it was great being part of this! I love soup and can eat it in the summer or the winter!
It's still hot here, I just try my best to rush fall!
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I could do with a bowl of that right now!

Yvette said...

I would love to win this fabulous Bertoli giveaway, Pat. :)

A great post, by the way. The food looked fabulous!

Yvette said...

I am a follower of yours, Pat from way back so this is my second post to try and win the Giveaway. :)

The French Hutch said...

This must have been so exciting to be a part this event. I will look for the soup. I always like to have some kind on hand. Great photos.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Kim, USA said...

Oh my I love the food. And the chefs..hmmm to see them is worth the time ^_^

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh, I would've loved to be there arund all this chefs and soup tasting, which by the way, it looks mouth watering! I love Tribeca, NY my home town! Truly wonderful! Great. FABBY

Kathleen said...

You get invited to great events! I would pick what you did, we don't like zucchini here! Sounds like fun!
I would try the tomato to see if we like it. Canned tomato soup is the only can soup I buy.
Great give away, thanks for the chance!

Kathleen said...

Of course I follow Brooklyn Pat! :)

Annette said...

That must have been a fun evening!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

This is getting to be the perfect soup weather...right now it is in the 40's with the wind howling....I love to make delicious soups from scratch, but there are always times when there isn't the time, so I am going to add these to my grocery list.

Thanks for the fun post!
Jil

Naturegirl said...

Mmmm..my kind of dining. Always so adventurous trying out sample and getting ideas on serving ..Love the antipasto plates!! A meal just tasting each item...Perfect eveing I'd say!

chubskulit said...

I love Saturdays, lots of Pinktastic stuff to see. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pink! Your post made me hungry hahaha.

My Pink is here, hope you can come by and see. Have a great week weekend!

Annesphamily said...

Soup is what we are having for dinner tonight! I love it as the weather cools down. You are a gem here and I love your giveaway. Thanks for sharing. Anne

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

These soups would be great for college kids. I know my three would love them.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Hi Pat, just leaving my second comment for a better chance to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

Jojo said...

Pat, What a fun event to be able to attend!

Designing Domesticity said...

How fun and what a great opportunity to be included in. Thanks for posting and thanks also, for swinging by my blog. Liz

black eyed susans kitchen said...

That was quite an event Pat! Those antipasto platters look delicious. When I won the previous give away that you had I bought the pasta sauce and the frozen meal. My husband and I were honestly surprised at how delicious the frozen pasta was.
I will have to consider the soups.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Wow, how lucky you were!!! Looks like a lot of fun and thanks for posting the great photos!!!

camp and cottage living said...

My goodness how did you rate such an invitation? I'm getting hungry just looking at all the delicious
food!

The Tablescaper said...

What a neat event. I must admit, I'd just pass by these in the frozen food aisle, but now I'll take a second look. Lucky you to be at such an event.

Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Buttercup said...

What a fun time. I pretty much go off soup for the summer, but since today was cooler, had a bowl of pea soup and bread and butter for lunch and it was perfect for the day. This sounds great to me. I do like to make soup, but when I don't have the time I'd like to try this.

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Wow Pat wish I could have been with you. That is an exciting experience. I would love to win and try that soup. Us retirees must watch out budget so wondering how expensive these soups are.
QMM

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

BTW I am a follower. Looks like this was a very popular post.
QMM

Claudia said...

I know it's about the soup - but the antipasti got my attention! (And I am a soup-o-holic). I will be looking for these for those days when something needs to be made in ten minutes (yes, still have those days!). It sounds like a grand experience - loved the video of the chefs.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a fun and delicious soup tasting! I love soup in the fall and winter.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I couldn't believe I wasn't already a follower! I am now :)

Jacqueline said...

Sorry you missed the giveaway! I am having another soon!
What a fun event. I love anything like this. Enter me in the giveaway.

Jacqueline said...

I am also a follower! I think the braided ceramic basket is wonderful.

Paz said...

What a fun evening. Everything looks delicious. I especially like Chef Fabio. ;-)

Joanne Kennedy said...

Yum, it's a perfect day here in CA for soup too! Rain outside, quiet inside. I could really go for a bowl of soup and some warm bread with butter.

I love Bertolli pasta so I am sure the soup is good too. It's a name brand I trust.

Julie said...

I love soup and would love to try Bertoilli
thanks
aunteegem@yahoo.com

Julie said...

follow blog jelaws5
aunteegem@yahoo.com