FoodBuzz Festival Day 2: Eating … and more Eating!

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on November 10, 2010

After the amazing welcome reception and street food fare from the night before, I was really excited to head back up to SF for Day 2 of the festival πŸ™‚ As I was driving up I just felt so lucky that I live so close to one of the best foodie cities ever – San Francisco. I mean – without traffic it’s only about a 35-40 min drive (which is what it was since I left early on Saturday morning to get to the first sessions of the day!) And what a perfect location for hanging out with fellow foodies and bloggers!

After the morning sessions at the Sir Francis Drake, we headed to the Metreon for the Tasting Pavilion! I tried really hard to capture the essence of the tasting pavilion – which was AMAZING – but quite honestly, I couldn’t balance my bag of swag, my camera, my wine glass and the awesome food I was eating. So I opted to eat first and take pics later – which left me with only three pics from the Pavilion! (Sad!) But here they are πŸ™‚

Above – the first thing I ate when I got inside the Pavilion – spicy sweet potato fries from Alexia! Then I stopped by the Jarlsberg booth which had amazing cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, etc. I could have completely filled up just from that one booth!

Somewhere along the way, I found INNA jam’s station – their spicy jalapeno jam on a crispy toast with cream cheese was to die for!

And alas, my Tasting Pavilion pictures end here. It was such a blur of food and eating – next time I’ll really have to stay focused so I can share more pics! Anyway – one of the best things about the Pavilion was some of the cool people I met – like Julie, Azmina, Chef Dennis (who I have to commend for bringing healthy food to the school he cooks at!), and Mara who takes amazing food pics! So between this event and the Gala Dinner, we had a 3 hour break – so of course I went to H&M πŸ™‚

This has to be one of my favorite places to buy clothes – I found the cutest coat but the line to pay was ENORMOUS… so being a bit too logical I decided to go have coffee with a friend. Now I kind of wish I had that coat πŸ™‚ Oh well – I’ll just have to go back this weekend and get it! Anyway – so before the dinner I met up with my new friends Julie and Diana to get ready, and then we walked down Market St to the Ferry Building for the dinner! But – when we got there, the place was EMPTY

Apparently we had missed the memo for cocktail hour outside the Ferry Building πŸ™‚ But one of the hosts directed us to the right place and soon we were on our way to eating amazing appetizers! Like these Cheese Gougeres with Gruyere Fondue…

Absolutely amazing! The cheese melted in my mouth and oozed all over my tongue as soon as I bit into it! It took a lot of self control to not eat the whole tray πŸ™‚ Next up – Herb polenta cups with Cypress Grove chevre and provencal vegetables!

The warm polenta was so buttery and creamy (thanks to the chevre!) and the veggies on top tickled my palate πŸ™‚ When we finally made it inside, the hall looked as amazing as ever…

I love the Ferry Building! And our table was set to the nines – every course had a separate wine pairing courtesy of Bonny Doon Vineyards.

Julie, Diana and I were at the same table where we met a few other Foodie Friends. Here’s a pic of Julie and Diana that I took right before we sat down to eat!

Now – on to the food! The first course… a Roasted Golden Beet Tart with Crimson Beet, Feta and Currants, Wild Arugula and Basil Puree…

While the tart was perfectly cooked and very flavorful, I think I actually enjoyed the beet salad with feta & currants even more! The tart feta provided a perfect complement to the sweetness of the beets and the spiciness of the arugula just topped it all off. Next up – Tofu Scallops with Braised Fennel, Candied Orange Peel and garnished with Fried Fennel Fonds

While this was the vegetarian option, what surprised me most was 1) how flavorful it was and 2) how much it looked like the Meat option – the seared scallops!

They could have been twins! Soon after, course three appeared – which was some sort of Portabello Mushroom cake served with sauteed local wild mushrooms, basil oil, and butternut squash puree…

Oh and did I mention the wine? πŸ™‚

As if all that wasn’t enough, dessert was just as spectacular as the rest of the food! A Buttery Almond Cake with Oranges and Spanish Sherry Sabayon – just melted in your mouth – and the figs were so juicy and delicious – they went with the cake beautifully!

I told you there was a lot of eating on Saturday! πŸ™‚ At the end of the night I couldn’t believe how quickly it had all gone by. I was so grateful to have been able to attend the Festival – it was really one of the coolest experiences ever and it was so great meeting so many fellow food bloggers! At the end of the night, after I got home, I realized that I didn’t take any pictures of my FoodBuzz badge! So here is a very tired but content me – proudly holding up my badge as my husband takes my picture πŸ™‚

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chef Dennis November 10, 2010 at 3:35 am

What a great recap of the events, I just love reading everyones take on the festival…..I see things I had missed and people I hadn’t seen….
It was pleasure meeting you!! Foodbuzz has truly given us an incredible community to be part of.
Now next year seems too far away!!
Cheers!
Dennis

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking November 10, 2010 at 6:44 am

I love all these photos! The tasting pavilion was one of my favorite parts (and of course that dinner!)

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Boulder Locavore November 10, 2010 at 8:50 am

Thank you for the great post about the FB festival! You allowed all of us who could not attend to feel we were there especially with all the great photos too. Loved the side trip to H & M; hope you found some good stuff there as well!

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anjalim November 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I’m so glad you liked my post! I did find some cute things but failed to actually buy them haha – so now I just have to go back and get them! πŸ™‚

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Lawyer Loves Lunch November 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

I love reading these recap posts. But as soon as I read this, I thought, “Bollocks! I can’t believe I missed the H&M outing.” That would’ve been an ideal day- eating AND shopping πŸ™‚ We’ll have to do that soon!

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anjalim November 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Aw! hehe well H&M isn’t going anywhere so I’d be more than happy to go again! πŸ™‚

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Sara November 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Oh boy, those cheese gougeres…I’m still dreaming about them. We should make a dinner trying to recreate our favorite food from the pavillon and the Saturday dinner!

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anjalim November 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I LOVE this idea!! We could have a little potluck where each of us brings a dish! And then of course, we all have to blog about it after πŸ™‚ I love eating with food bloggers πŸ™‚

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Darlene November 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Sounds like you had a fantastic time at Foodbuzz! I’m a sucker for H&M too. I wish I had a blank check to the store.

Although we didn’t have much to time to talk, it was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to reading your blog — possibly getting new recipes to try on my junk food eating husband. Happy eating!

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anjalim November 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm

hehe absolutely! definitely let me know how the recipes turn out for you (and if your husband likes them! πŸ™‚ )

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