Continuing from Day 1's night of eating and meeting, Day 2 of the Foodbuzz Festival tested the limits of how much food we could consume and how many names we could remember! We learned photography tips, watched a fish cooking demonstration, ate sponsored samples, and enjoyed a final, four-course meal.
But before any of the sessions, we had to make an early trip to the Ferry Building for the Saturday Farmers' Market. Going to the Ferry Building evokes that kid in a candy store feeling and enjoying food from Primavera (that's only around on Sat) makes us feel like Christmas Day. We shared a dish we've never had before, the Pozole Rojo with Becker Lane Pork ($10). It was like a thick braised meat or stew-like dish that warmed the soul. It came with crispy, fried potato tacos that was great for dipping in the dish. We completed our meal with some organic tomatoes, strawberries, and muscat grapes bought at the Farmers Market.
After a nourishing breakfast, it was on to business. We started off with a photography session with Marc (No Recipes) and Laura (The Cooking Photographer). Here I learned I had another excuse to shop for pretty plates and placemats as well as a new, inexpensive lighting system. Our next session was a fish tacos cooking demo by Chef Mary Sue Milliken who partners with Top Chef Masters' Chef Susan Feniger on various restaurants and catering events. The recipe itself is pretty easy (don't overcook the fish, add whatever toppings you'd like). And we also learned how terrible hotel lighting is for food photography!
The tasting pavilion was where we could finally eat the tacos we just watched being made 2 hours prior. Highlights for us included the Bison Brewing Organic Chocolate Stout (not sweet or sugary, low 6.10% ABV), wines from Far Niente (usually $50-$90/bottle), Chanterelle mushroom soup, and the Gulf prawns with chili gazpacho (not pictured because they were all gone!)
We also liked the s'mores with hazelnut Ghirardelli chocolate, Madecasse chocolate with sea salt and nibs, jalapeno jelly, and Pranther Ranch jalapeno sausage (without any toppings).
Finally, the Gala Dinner was held at the Ferry Building. What happens when you give a bunch of dolled-up foodies endless glasses of Bonny Doon wine? Lots of interesting conversation, photo opportunities, and humorous tweets.
First course: Roasted Golden Beet Tart served with crimson beet salad (with feta and currants), arugula, and basil puree. The tart tasted like a quiche to me, and our favorite part of the dish was the sweet beet salad. This was paired with the 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Albarino (91.8% Albarino, 8.2% loureiro).
|Flew all the way to SF to dine out with NY'ers Lauren (Healthy Delicious), Siobhan (Blondie and Brownie), and Yvo (Feisty Foodie)|
|We were lucky to be sit with Jesse (Beer & Nosh) and his bottles of home-brewed beers|
Second Course: Seared Scallops with Bonny Doon Vineyard Verjus Beurre Blanc served with braised fennel and garnished with fried fennel fonds. Silky and sweet, we enjoyed the scallops though it needed a bit of salt. This was paired with the 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc (64% roussanne, 36% grenache blanc).
Third course (photographed Jesse's dish): Rosemary and Garlic Infused Rack of Lamb with local wild mushrooms, pinot noir sauce, and butternut squash puree. This dish was paired with the 2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant (43.6% syrah, 43.5% grenache, 11.7% cinsault, 1.1% mourvedre, 0.1% carignane).
My lamb fell asleep on the way to the table!
Dessert course: Tarta de Almedras with Oranges or a buttery almond cake with oranges and Spanish sherry sabayon. This was paired with a dessert wine, the 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard Vinferno.
Good food and great company - the Foodbuzz Festival was a fun weekend for us and we're so happy that we could meet so many of our favorite food writers/photographers in person.