When you go to culinary school it’s pretty normal for companies to come and pitch their brand to the multitude of young chefs who will soon be entering the work force. This week it was a company called Minors, owned by the more well know company Nestle. Unfortunately it wasn’t chocolate milk they were showcasing but flavors. Now I know what you’re thinking how do you sell flavors? Well if you’ve ever used those little blocks of chicken stock to make soup, its sort of similar to that.
Unfortunately for them and their expansive flavor product line their entire presentation fell short. For the most part when companies come to give presentations at our school our small state of the art amphitheater kitchen is packed with students eager to try samples and get free merchandise from whatever company happens to be presenting. Minors, was only equip with a dreadfully long power point presentation and several monotone chefs stirring small spoons of various flavor compounds into things. “Yep, thats it” they would say matter of factly after adding a small amount of chipotle flavor to ketchup.
It’s not that their products weren’t useful or innovative they would actually be extremely useful to a large scale culinary operation. Some of their products like Culinary Cream use a blend of gums to help hold together sauces and extend hold times. This is all well and good but if I can’t go buy it at the grocery it really doesn’t matter to me. Overall I think Minors missed the mark in their effort to market their flavor line as it really only matters to large corporations as a time saver while still maintaining quality. Minor’s Presentation was a major flop.
The Gilded Tomato appeared on our school campus in the form of a large white tent, copper plated wood oven, and fluttering Italian flags. The charred wood and melting chesses created an army of smells launching an assault on the starving college students who passed by. Although the pizza was something new and more appetizing then the ramen I had planned to eat later, I still had some issues with the entire dinning experience. First of all the booth only accepted cash, and if you’re a college student like me you almost never carry cash. Another issue resided in the fact that they only had one oven, a very cute rustic oven, but a small one nonetheless. They were only able to fire three pizzas at a time and were constantly running out of pizzas to serve creating a painstakingly long wait. The pizzas were sold either by the slice (2$) or whole (10$), as these were rustic home style pizzas they were maybe 10 inches in diameter and sliced into six. Normally I wouldn’t blink an eye about spending 2$ for a slice of pizza, in fact I do it quite often at a place off Thayer Street, but these pieces were so small I felt the need to buy the whole pizza so I wasn’t getting shorted. Aside from the price, the pizza didn’t taste bad, but it was definitely nothing to write home about. The crust was thin and burnt around the edges; the sauce was spread almost as thin as the crust, and the large chunks of cheese were gone in one bite. I had ordered the brussel sprout and balsamic pizza, and it wasn’t until I had already finished my first slice that they realized they had completely forgotten a topping. Overall I felt it to be a waste of my money and that I could have found a better and cheaper option almost anywhere else, but hey, it was a cute oven.