♫ Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Hellmann’s. Happy Birthday to You! ♫
Did you know that Hellmann’s mayonnaise is celebration it’s 100th birthday this month? That’s right, one of the country’s favorite brands is one hundred years old. WOW! I can’t believe it’s been around for that long.
The first mayonnaise was created by the French chef of Duke de Richelieu back in 1756. The chef was creating a victory feast and realized he didn’t have any cream to make cream and eggs for a victory dinner. He improvised and used olive oil instead of cream. It was a huge success. The chef named his creation “mahonnaise”.
Fast forward to the 1900′s. Richard Hellmann, a German immigrant, owned a delicatessen on Columbus Avenue in New York City. His wife had her own recipe for mayonnaise using simple ingredients – oil, eggs and vinegar. Richard Hellmann used her mayonnaise on many of his deli sandwiches. It became so popular that customers requested to purchase it so they can use it at home.
Richard Hellmann re-created his wife’s mayonnaise recipe in their apartment to sell to customers. The demand was so high that Mr. Hellmann had to open up a factory to keep up with the orders.
According to the Hellmann’s website there were two versions of his wife’s mayonnaise. The version that was in high demand was labeled “Blue Ribbon” to distinguish between the two. In 1913 he received his first trademark for the “Blue Ribbon” and Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise was born.
Hellmann’s is made the same way today as it was a 100 years ago. In fact they are looking to make Hellmann’s even better by eventually using only eggs from cage free chickens. I’m sure Mr. Hellmann would be thrilled to know that Hellmann’s is also available in a variety of flavors including Balsamic, Olive Oil and Dijonnaise.
To help celebration this special birthday, Hellmann’s wanted to do something spectacular. To celebrate Hellmann’s brought together a lot of people and foods made with Hellmann’s and have everyone seated around the World’s Longest Picnic Table to enjoy the food – just blocks from Richard Hellmann’s original deli.
The event was held this past Tuesday on Pier 84, right next to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum on the beautiful Hudson River.
As one of Hellmann’s “Real Foodies” brand ambassadors I was honored to attend the event.
I arrived in New York City the night before. Myself and the other brand ambassadors were treated to dinner at OTTO, a restaurant owned by Hellmann’s brand spokesman Chef Mario Batali. We also were lucky enough to attend a taping of Mario’s talk show, The Chew, the morning of the event. If you are a fan of the show and watched it this past Tuesday you probably saw me in the audience. I know I was seen a few time according to friends and family who watched the show.
I was excited to see how many people were at the event. Even before the official ribbon cutting ceremony there was a huge crowd waiting for the event to begin.
Before the ribbon cutting ceremony host DJ Race Taylor (WPLJ), Chef Mario Batali and Chef Tim Love (another Hellmann’s spokesman) did a cooking demonstration for the audience. Chef Batali whipped up juicy salsa burgers and the most delicious grilled corn on the cob you have ever seen or tasted. Each recipe was so easy to prepare and featured Hellmann’s as one of the ingredients.
Here is his recipe. This is a video from the Hellmann’s YouTube page (not from the event).
Here is his recipe for the grilled corn (Italian style) that he made at the event.
Both recipes are out of this world delicious! I cannot wait to make them for my family.
After the cooking portion of the event it was time to cut the big blue ribbon. Chef Mario Batali did the honors. He was joined by Chef Tim Love, Chef Aaron Sanchez, Brooklyn Nets Paul Pierce and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Actress Katie Holmes was there too but I didn’t see her personally.
Prior to cutting the ribbon the proclamation was displayed signed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declaring September 24, 2013 at Hellmann’s Day.
Also in attendance were representative from Feeding America. In light of September’s recognition of Hunger Action Month, Hellmann’s is helping to provide one million meals to Feeding America to help the fight against hunger nationwide.
The event was not only to celebrate Hellmann’s 100th Birthday but also to break a world record. Guests were going to be seated at the World’s Longest Picnic Table.
A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records was on hand to officially measure the table to see if it broke the current record holder. The table measured over 320+ feet long, beating the current record holder (which I believe was 305+ feet). It was pretty cool to be a part of a record breaking event.
The first 500 people who showed up at the event (myself included) were treated to a free picnic lunch served in beautiful wicker baskets with blue and white checked fabric napkins. Inside the basket guests found individual servings of Chef Batali’s Juicy Salsa Burger (it was a “slider” size), Pasta Salad with Green Olives and Raisins, Italian Style Balsamic Potato Salad, Grilled Corn and a Hellmann’s Chocolate Birthday Cupcake from the famed Magnolia Bakery. Yum! Yum! Yum!
Here are some more random photos from the event including photos of the World’s Longest Picnic Table.
I took A LOT more photos. I just didn’t want to include them all (overkill!).
A great time was had by all. The weather couldn’t have been anymore perfect. It was great to sit around the ginormous picnic table, chatting with friends and making new friends, watching the small drone helicopters fly overhead (they were video taping the event from above) and enjoying the beautiful views of New York City and the Hudson River.
If you would like to learn more about Hellmann’s, their products or incredibly delicious recipes, visit www.Hellmanns.com. If you are on the West coast Hellmann’s goes by the name Best Foods (www.BestFoods.com). You can also check out Hellmann’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can even see photos from the event on their Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram page. You can even see a group photo of Hellmann’s Real Foodies brand ambassadors (and me!) on their Instagram and Facebook pages.
You can also follow the conversation via the social media channels using the official hashtag #Hellmanns100.
In celebration of 100 years of Hellmann’s yummy goodness I am giving away five (5) $100 gift cards to five (5) lucky readers (ONE gift card per winner), compliments of Hellmann’s. Thank you Hellmann’s!
This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on October 6, 2013. The winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.
To enter please comment on this post and tell me what if your favorite way to enjoy Hellmann’s? Do you have a favorite recipe you like to make with it? – OR – Tell me about a memory you have that involved Hellmann’s.
For extra entries you can use the Raffecopter widget (below) but you MUST complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check!). Extra entries are optional.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I was not compensated for this post. I am posting this as part of the Hellmann’s Real Foodies brand ambassador program. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Hellmann’s will be providing the prizes.