Celebrity chefs and real chefs

A little more than 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to meet renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. My family and I were on our final family vacation before the nest emptied as our girls flew away — our one and only vacation to Disney World. As we ate dinner one evening at Wolfgang Puck's Disney World Cafe, the celebrity chef himself thrilled diners with an appearance. He patiently obliged and posed for photos.

 meeting Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck was the only real chef — one whose career and lifeblood is the culinary arts — I'd ever met. Until BlogHer.

At BlogHer, I had the opportunity via the Lean Cuisine Honestly Good luncheon to meet six chefs — the six real live chefs who come up with tasty entrees and more for Lean Cuisine. These four men and two women are true culinary artists who not only own restaurants of their own, they put their heads and talents together in passionate ways I'd never realized were part of the process in creating the meals we all so often pull from our freezer and pop in the microwave, never thinking twice about what goes into their making.

I now know what goes into their making, thanks to the "Culinary Journey" led by Chef Lucien Vendôme for the 50 or so hungry bloggers invited to attend the private Lean Cuisine luncheon. Though I'm unfortunately unable to share with you the tastes of the day — and they were quite tasty! — I'd like to share my photos of our journey behind the scenes of Lean Cuisine.

Chef Lucien — leader of the culinary team assembled for Lean Cuisine — kicked things off by describing what we would experience and learn:

Honestly Good luncheon

Then the experiencing and learning — and eating — began.

We sampled the flavors that go into the new Honestly Good line of Lean Cuisine meals, starting with the sweet and fruity flavors...

Honestly Good luncheon 

Followed by the sauces...

Lean Cuisine sauces 

And the grains that go into the Lean Cuisine goods...

Lean Cuisine grains 

Then we devoured tasted two complete entrees from Lean Cuisine's Honestly Good line — followed by a luscious chocolate dessert made from, get this, black beans...

Honestly Good entrees 

We also met the chefs who worked behind the scenes to prepare our feast for the day.

luncheon chefs 

And throughout the sampling and eating we met the chefs I mentioned above, the masters who work day in and day out to create the Lean Cuisine line. We were treated to their stories as well as photos of what inspires them.

Lean Cuisine chefs 

The Lean Cuisine culinary journey inspired me to never again take a pre-packaged meal from the freezer without considering those who created the meal, the inspiration and passion they put into making fresh and flavorful easy-to-prepare meals for the rest of us.

It also inspired me to share this journey with you — which was not a requirement of my attendance at the luncheon. Sure, I could have live tweeted the event, but aren't all these photos so much better than a tweet?

Today's question:

What's your favorite frozen meal or microwave food?