If you haven’t heard by now, Chop’d, London’s favourite gourmet salad bar recently opened its doors in Selfridges Food Hall. To celebrate (as well as to have the opportunity to meet and greet some lovely foodie girls in London) my PR agency organised a ‘create the perfect salad’ evening with the winner’s salad to be available in Chop’d stores across London.
We had the idea because we wanted to give a few food bloggers the chance to see the new Chop’d concession in Selfridges, and to get people excited about salads. I, for one, am always excited about a good salad but I think sometimes people have the idea that they are generally not tasty or filling. Chop’d is of course my client and that means technically I am paid to say their food is good – which is why I wanted to host the event, to try and get seven other people who don’t work for Chop’d to see and taste for themselves, and to help communicate that they’ve got great tasting salads which are healthy, satisfying and easy to grab on-the-go for lunch.
In true social media form, we asked Qype to get involved and invite some ‘Qypers,’ and in total we had seven food bloggers submit their ideas for a great tasting Chop’d salad. They had limitations on how many ingredients they could include, but in keeping with the standard ordering system of a tailored Chop’d salad, the bloggers picked one base item, four house items (Ok, we allowed them to have one extra house item) , one deli item, one garnish and a salad dressing.
I received all salad creations beforehand and although a couple of them seemed a bit off at first (Rejina from GastroGeek mixed gherkins with apples and Caesar dressing which, surprisingly mixed really well!), most seemed like delicious concoctions and I was excited to get to taste all of them.
The evening started off with a few glasses of wine and a meet and greet, and we pretty much got right down to it: a blind taste test of seven different tailored salads.
Each food blogger tasted the salad and then scored it on a scale from one to ten. All the scores were tallied at the end to reveal the winner: Melanie Seasons, who writes www.omnomlondon.com created a salad made with deli leaves (spinach rather than iceberg), caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, spiced chickpeas, olives and chorizo garnished with chilli and lemon juice dressing. The sweet flavour of the lemon juice mixed with the spicy chilli and chorizo was amazing – it’s no wonder this salad beat all the others. The ‘om nom London’ salad will be available in all Chop’d stores across London starting 12 October for two weeks, and I really suggest you go and try it. The week commencing 12 October also happens to be during the first ever London Restaurant Festival, a celebration of restaurants, food, wine in the capital.
What turned out to be quite the girly evening was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed meeting my fellow food bloggers. An evening to discuss food and enjoy a glass of wine is always a winner, I think. Read what other bloggers are saying about the event at Melanie’s om nom London blog and the Qype does London blog.
I’ll list the seven salad creations and who’s responsible for each because they were all pretty tasty and I’d encourage everyone to go and order them from the ‘create your own’ line!
Mathilde’s Cuisine Salad: House leaves, spiced chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, apple, roast chicken, pumpkin seeds and yoghurt & mint dressing. This was my second favourite salad – I’m a big fan of broccoli and pumpkin seeds in my salads. I’m going to have to cough up the extra 25p for a bit of feta cheese when I order this salad – I think it’s the only thing that’s missing! (and to be fair, Mathilde didn’t have the option of adding cheese because of the ingredients limitations for the competition.)
Rejina’s Gastro Geek Salad: Deli leaves, gherkins, olives, caramelised onions, apples, roast chicken, walnuts and caesar dressing. Honestly, it sounds like something a pregnant woman would come up with, but it really was a great mix of flavours.
Viviana’s Lean Times Salad: House leaves, red onion, olives, tomatoes, spiced chickpeas, chorizo, parsley and French dressing. Pretty standard but light and refreshing.
Niamh’s Eat Like a Girl Salad: Glass noodles, spring onion, green beans, bean sprouts, cucumber roast salmon, coriander and lemon oil.
Cara’s Gourmet Chick Salad: Cous Cous, roasted red peppers, spiced chickpeas, red onion, sweet corn, roast chicken, coriander and lemon juice.
Jenny’s The Style PA Salad: Deli leaves, mixed peppers, mushrooms, caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, goat’s cheese, chilli and balsamic dressing. The only salad of the evening designed for a vegetarian’s taste buds – the goat’s cheese is what made this creamy and delicious.
Chop’d has seven locations across London: Selfridges, Spitalfields, High Holborn, King’s Cross, Canary Wharf, Curzon Street and Leadenhall Market.