Comfort food. We all love it. So when I saw an opportunity to taste test some and get a gift card for doing so, I signed up.
Whole Foods Davis is conducting Food Forums to try out new foods for their deli counter and grab-n-go items. So far they have had two and there are two more this week on Wednesday (23rd) and Saturday (26th).
I started by talking to my friend, Cyn Leo, the Store Team Leader for the Davis location. My visit was for the Food Forum, but also to drop off posters for the Sacramento Food Film Festival. Prior to Davis, Cyn had been at the Sacramento store and I had worked with her on SactoMoFo 1 and the film festival.
Each store has it's own personality to fit in with its neighborhood. Cyn explained that she had been going by and seeing the same food every day at the deli. She wondered if the dishes really fit in well for the area and neighborhood they were in. The Food Forums are a way to let the customers help shape the menu at the store.
The Food Forums are themed differently. I was there for comfort foods, but Wednesday will be proteins, both meat and non-meat, and Saturday's is salads and sides. There are about eight sessions of 20 minutes for a group to taste and then rate the different foods. Our items were Southern fried chicken, mac n cheese, and a vegetable pot pie. After you've finished rating the items you get a $10 gift card as a thank you gift.
I thought the fried chicken was great. It had a coating that had a nice kick to it, but the best part was that you could really taste some of the individual spices in it. That made it taste really fresh. I liked the veggie pot pie as well because it had a lot of veggies that still retained a bit of crunch. I had to wonder why it wasn't completely vegan, though. I was not a fan of the mac n cheese. It was too bland and pasty for me.
Some of the other events this location hosts include college night specials and beer tastings. Kristen Tantarelli, Marketing Team Leader, told me they are already thinking ahead to spring and summer when they will move activities outdoors to the lovely lawn out front and the side patio that is part of the Davis Arboretum. Next month, they have some events involving their cosmetics section.
To sign up for events such as the Food Forums, go to the Davis store's event page to register.