Foodbuzz Blogger Festival 2009

All the goodies we scored, plus a fun photo booth pic, the top right pic was taken after the first pic, as I walked out of the booth thinking I was done (it was 3pm and I already had an array of wines and beer, enough said)
Dear Food Diary:

The best way to describe FoodBuzz Blogger Festival would be the convo I had with my mama:
me: “I decided to attend the food blogger festival!”
mom: “What’s that? why are you going? is it safe?”
me: “You know how you say ALL I think about is food, even when I’m eating?”
mom: “Yes! you still do, all the time!”
me: “Yeah, so imagine 250 people just like me, together for a couple days”
mom: “Hahaha, oh you’re gonna meet a lot of good friends”
Mama knows best once again, aside from all of the yummy foods, great wines and drinks, I met so many fun, interesting and wonderful foodie friends from all over.
FIRST NIGHT:
Welcome Reception Meet & Greet
At Hotel Vitale. I’m a sucker for rooftop lounges, as soon as I walked in solo (first time I go to any event alone) and saw the view I knew a great night was ahead. 2 Skyy Spirits Citrus Collins later, I was chatting away and exchanging moo cards with fellow bloggers.
View of the Ferry Building at night, and hors d’oeuvres by Midi, but I was still full from my late lunch at Chez Panisse.

Taste of SF Street Food Fare
During cocktail hours, I met Linda (one scoop at a time) and Jen (tiny urban kitchen), two fun food lovers that were the perfect company for spending the rest of night exploring all the street food/truck stalls offerings outside the Ferry Building.
First thing we were greeted with? Chicharrones from 4505 Meats, not as crispy as I’m use to, but still a good start, it set the tone for the night, bring it on!
Tiny cupcakes from Mission Minis, I had a good Swiss Almond. Very moist and not too sweet, pretty good but Cupcake Stop doesn’t need to get all jealous, they’re still my favorite, East Coast cupcakes baby!
Tacolicious wasn’t the most delicious I’ve ever had, the tortilla didn’t hold well, too much moisture. I had the chorizo but couldn’t really taste it. The potato was nice and salsa was fresh and tangy.
Oh yeah… Roli Roti, you had me at Crispy Skin! Please oh please come to NYC. In the meantime I have to go to Porchetta this weekend to get my new pork addiction.
I thought I died and went to food heaven, Rotisserie Porchetta, I couldn’t believe my eyes, the pork fat was dripping onto the rosemary baked potatoes… ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I needed to sit down, this was too good to be true! and oh trust me, it was! This belly is grilled on the rotisserie for 4hrs with and herb mix and lemon zest. Don’t hate the blogger, hate the porchetta.
My favorite of the night, crunchy pork flavored potatoes, with soft center were to die for. This is what eating well is all about, yummmm. The pork needed a tad more salt, but it made up for it with pieces of crispy brown skin, sweet onion marmalade and a handful of curly cress.

Pie Truck’s Zucchini Mushroom was a pocket of warm buttery goodness. Love the story of how 3 friends quit their jobs and decided to follow their passion. Another favorite of the night.
Organic oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co. Can’t get any fresher than this, pulled out of Tomales Bay that morning. Topped with a tangy citrus onion and parsley sauce. Wow! I stood around and helped myself to a few.
After all that pork I was happy to see some grilled beets. Lightly dressed, fresh and sweet.
Last bite of the night, Pizza Politana, wood-fired oven pizza, extra thin and crunchy crust. Nice balance of sauce and toppings.
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SECOND DAY:
Morning at the Market
9am Olive Oil Tasting, now that’s a first. Chef Michael was very knowledgeable, informative and funny. Kevin (TopChef’s redhead contestant) was actually working under him.

Over at the Ferry Building I finally met Zack (Midtown Lunch), we were glued to the cured meats at Boccalone, great tummies think alike. Also met Nichelle (cupcaketakesthecake). And Hong (ravenouscouple) actually got to try the meat slicer, nice job!
City View at the Metron: Sparkling California Wine Tasting
Alder (Vinography), would be the perfect personal sommelier, an award which he was nominated for. My choice was the Roderer State 2002 Brut.
City View at the Metron: Afternoon Taste Pavillion

I tried so much in these couple hours some tastes were getting blurred. Below are the ones that really stood out from the rest:
BonBonBar’s Passion Fruit Marshmallows were amazing! soft cloud of sweet tropical goodness, I met Nina, who opened her business after Culinary school, great story, sweet treats.
Shawn does the best chocolate coated hazelnuts, all by hand! for his company heart of chocolates.
Yummy tea cookies, like a short bread with an herbal twist from BotanicalBakery. I liked the lavender and lemon thyme, both very buttery and aromatic, great with well… tea!
Popcorn 479 had creative new flavors for their organic popcorn, like curry and cashews. My favorite was the white cheddar and truffle, savory and fragrant, I want a big box of that.
Make your own popcorn kit to come!
Yummy Pulpo and Shrimp ceviche from Fuego Restaurant.
Jamu, a filipino herbal drink, the kind your grandma would make when you need a little boost. Here’s the creator who’s bringing these family recipes to all of us. The turmeric ginger flavored was a winner.
21st Amendment’s Watermelon flavored beer, my favorite drink from the events! I’m not a beer fan, but this was so refreshing, not sweet but you could taste and smell the watermelon. I’m going to look for it at Whole Foods in NYC. Met TheRightWaytoEat over beer.
Kerrygold had pure irish butter, grass fed free range happy cows. This is the kind of butter flavor I grew up with in Argentina. I almost forgot how outstanding butter tastes like, this awakened me.
Aunt Else’s Aebleskiver (danish for apple slice), made these takoyaki-ish sweet concoctions. He said he would send one of these kits my way, and when I told him I didn’t really cook, he replied “perfect, your the type of consumer we’re looking for”, hmmm thanks!? I guess?
Almond Roca move over, there’s a new sweet crunch in town. Pop Candy makes it with extra almonds and a savory hint with rosemary, I had to walk away from the table, sooo good.
DINNER & AWARDS CEREMONY
On the bus that got us lost to the Greenleaf Produce Warehouse, I laughed till my tummy hurt with Linda, Jen, Kimberly (poorgirleatswell) and Diana (alittlebit of spain in iowa). Oh yeah also met Yvo(feistyfoodie) for the first time, I heard her talk about NY so I turned around to ask her and as soon as I introduced myself, she cracked me up with “OMG you’re ChubbyChineseGirl!?My friend was JUST telling me about your blog!”, and followed by “I’m gonna txt her right now”. Thanks Ivo and friend, that’s very sweet.
We all shared an awesomely delicious meal prepared my Chef Dennis Lee of Namu, using local, organic, sustainable and pasture raised meats.
Dinner from Oustanding in the Field‘s idea of farm-to-table.
Tangy pickled veggies.
I had high hopes for these mixed mushroom dashi, but it left and bitter aftertaste on my tongue, not my fav.
Udon and grilled calamary with ponzu reduction, frisee, yellow pear tomato with chojang and sesame vinaigrette, this made up for the not so appetizing soup.
The Sea Trout was slightly baked and had lots of crunchy fried garlic and a sprinkle of curry, it went very well with the crispy maitake mushroom risotto.
Roasted brussel sprouts with ponzu fried garlic, italian bacon and bonito flakes, this is the best way to prepare them in my book, once again proves how bacon makes everything better.

I love this pic of Linda and how happy she looks with the meat! my kind of gal. Soy braised beef cheeks and oxtail with baby carrots and fingerling potato. Tender and flavorful.
Rice pudding, cookie crumble and warren pear for a sweet dessert.
Met Andrea (High/low/food/drink), we’ve been emailing and I’m glad we finally put a face to the blog.
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LAST DAY: Farewell Brunch
Woke up to a build your own Bloody Mary drink bar, and a breakfast of champions.
Shared a Nature’s Pride Brunch at LuLu Restaurant with the LA Blogger group, Matt (mattattouille), LA&OC Foodaventures, Josh (Food GPS), Javier (The Glutster), GourmetPigs and Kongfu Panda. They inspired Andrea and I to start our own group in NY.

That was the end of an awesome Festival, phew… this was a long one. Thanks to Foodbuzz and all the Sponsors. In between all the events, I also squeezed in some SF sightseeing and eating.