West Coast Salad, Appetizers Galore, & a Kitchen Tour Fit For a Foodie – The All-Access Pass to Swiss Chalet, Part II!

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My dinner pick: the West Coast Chicken Salad!

The big Swiss Chalet Fresh Impressions Tour Part II post is finally here!  I’m really sorry for dropping the ball this weekend.  Admittedly, I was having too much fun celebrating my birthday with friends and family since Friday and was too tired by the end of each day to prepare this big post, but I’m here now and I’m ready to get back to my regular routine of posting every day as I know I’ve already missed several days in August already and it isn’t even the end of the month yet!  Things have been crazy busy on my end but in a really good way and I have so much to share with you all in additon to this speciall all-access pass. 

Let’s start from the very beginning though so you know how all of this came about in the first place.  I had no idea the Fresh Impressions Tour was going on until a young lady (much like myself ) named Emily Wilch from Mosaic Solutions sent me an e-mail about a week before inviting me to this once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity and event.  I was floored!  ME?!  In my mind, these types of events were reserved for industry leaders and media socialites who are accustomed to rubbing elbows with other media gurus.  I was honoured and I accepted the invitation on the spot.  I would have been crazy not to!

The special Fresh Impressions Tour menu for the night

Let’s get us some awesome sauce!

I was, however, incredibly curious as to how Emily found me.  I know people read Ate by Ate and find out about it through Twitter, Facebook, and other members of the food blogging community, but it’s not a huge enterprise that is known worldwide if you know what I mean!  Emily replied back saying that she found me via our beloved Food Bloggers of Canada, the wonderful forum and community where I act as Toronto admin and events calendar compiler.  I couldn’t believe my good fortune and I couldn’t wait to get an up close and personal look at and tour through the Swiss Chalet kitchen at Yonge & Gerrard, learn some of the food tidbits and secrets behind the food, and of course, enjoy a really delicious meal with fellow foodies.

Mosaic Sales Solutions is a North American marketing, PR, and social media company that works in collaboration with other service and retail enterprises to create marketing campaigns, events, promotions, and sales and profit-driven agendas.  They have 4 offices in Canada and the United States: 1 in Dallas, 1 in Chicago, 1 in Laval in Quebec, and 1 in Mississauga here in the GTA.  Together, Mosaic and Swiss Chalet partnered up to work on the Fresh Impressions Tour this year, a tour devoted to giving Swiss Chalet lovers across the country from coast to coast an opportunity to get sneak peeks and great eats in and outside their restaurant doors. 

The food truck, coming to a neighbourhood near you!

The goal of the tour is two-fold: 1) to join in on the food truck craze and to give everyone another way of enjoying Swiss Chalet’s famous fries and Chalet sauce in a fun, interactive way, and 2) to invite fans and foodies to learn more about Swiss Chalet as a Canadian-founded business and to connect with those in the food and media industry, and to bring lovers of food and Swiss Chalet together for a night of fun and eating.  The whole point is to make things fun and more accessible, to give everyone a “fresh impression” of the Canadian restaurant that has been a part of many of our families’ lives for generations, and to maybe even encourage both fans and those who don’t dine at Swiss Chalet all that often to try something new.

The food truck really speaks to the popularity of using social media as a mode of promotion and communication between businessses and their customers, something that wasn’t even happening 10 years ago.  I may not be on the smartphone bandwagon (I have one, I just don’t text or have internet on it.  That’s right, I use it AS A PHONE.  Okay, and as a clock and a map), but many people follow food trucks and spontaneous promotions via Twitter and the like, so this tour is a way for Swiss Chalet to open themselves up to a different market and demographic, and let’s face it, keep up with the digital times.

Emily’s photo of me in the cooking kitchen beside the vat that holds the secret Chalet sauce!

Where all the hustle and bustling of meal preparing happens!

Byron, with the quarter chicken dinner plate!

Fresh-cut potatoes just waiting to be turned into delicious fries!

Fellow foodies in the kitchen taking notes and photos!

I was so happy to have my boyfriend and Swiss Chalet lover, Richard, come with me for the event (my special +1!) because it was truly a night to remember.  The event was to run from 6:30pm-8:30pm, but let’s be real, events always last and run longer and later than the stated time and trust me when I say that nobody minded when we were patting our tummies well past 9pm!  Emily, along with fellow Mosaic coordinator, Whitney, hosted the event alongside Swiss Chalet staff, and restaurant manager Byron, who hosted and led our kitchen tour and chicken spring roll making workshop!

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