This week, actress and style icon Molly Sims debuted the latest addition to Wendy's new salad collection, the summer-inspired Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. During a private gathering at 620 Loft & Garden in Rockefeller Center, Sims shared her style secrets, favorite summer activities, and of course her favorite salads. Wendy's may be famous for its Frostys and square hamburgers, but its new salad collection deserves equal acclaim for quality, originality, and freshness.
Many fast food restaurants at similar price points tend to phone in the now requisite salad options. They put in just enough effort to appease critics who demand veggies be offered in addition to beef rather than creating salads that real people may really want to eat. Wendy's has put a commendable effort into not only creating salads whose ingredients taste fresh, but developing a complex yet harmonious dance of flavors within each bowl.
The Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad is the perfect summer meal: the California strawberries and apple vinaigrette add a fruity lightness, while the chicken, smoked Applewood bacon, and blue cheese contribute a satisfying heft that will leave you satisfied without feeling stuffed. The honey roasted sunflower seeds are a surprising and delightful addition, giving the salad that extra crunch. A great salad should uphold a similar principle to a great sandwich: the last bite should be just as good as the first. The Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad upholds this principle, in part because there is just enough of each ingredient, but also because of the way the flavors complement each other. Why bacon and strawberries aren't paired together more often is somewhat of a mystery.
What sets Wendy's salad collection apart from its competitors is that this chain has not allowed itself to be limited or hampered by its fast food status. Fast food is indeed about speed, convenience, and affordability. Wendy's summer salad collection proves, however, that adhering to those parameters needn't impede creativity or commitment to a reasonable level of quality.
It is thus not as arbitrary as it seems that Wendy's sought a partnership with Molly Sims and Polyvore, a digital fashion space where users can create their own style board. Creating an inspired outfit is not too different than creating an inspired salad, aside from the obvious distinction that it is not advisable to eat fabric. Both processes requires a good eye for color and texture, and both great stylists and great chefs must be able to effectively convey a mood or story through their finished product.
If you're interested in getting involved in this fun union of food and fashion, the Wendy's #NewSaladCollection contest, where Sims is a judge, will run on Polyvore until June 15. Create your own style board inspired by the Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad and be entered to win $1,000 towards the fashion from your style board. No Wendy's purchase is necessary to participate, though whether or not you join the contest, this salad is a summer must for foodies on a budget.