We couldn’t fit all the great shots from our food blogger weekend into one post so we are back at it again. The second day of the event featured morning breakout sessions on everything from food photography, to video-blogging, to writing that perfect blog post. Of course, the day would not be complete without more eating as the mid-day session was made up of a Taste Pavillion that featured culinary goodies the event’s corporate sponsors as well as local vendors from around the bay area. Featured in the photos above, you will see Mary Sue Milliken, whom you might have seen before. She and her business partner, Susan Feniger own the Border Grill and Ciudad, in Los Angeles and have been featured on the Food Network. Mary Sue was the featured guest Chef for Alaska Seafood and did a cooking demonstration on fish tacos that we were later able to sample in the Taste Pavillion. We both had an impression left upon us by Alaska Seafood and Mary Sue’s discussions on using sustainable seafood, in which Alaskan fishing companies catch and market seafood that will not be over-fished and ultimately will alllow our kids and our kid’s kids to be able to enjoy the same seafood that we are able to enjoy today. We encourage you to check out Alaska Seafood and hear about what you can do today to support restaurants and fish distributors that use sustainable seafood.
This collage is a sampling of some of the many goodies that we were able to indulge in during the tasting pavillion throughout the middle of the day. We sampled and sampled and sampled… until we could eat no more. The biggest hit of the Food Pavillion was probably the fish tacos that we mentioned before that was sponsored by Alaska Seafood. The booth featured a fish taco bar that allowed you to try the various toppings and salsas that were shared with us by Chef Mary Sue. The day also allowed some of the food bloggers to showcase their culinary creations during the pre-event recipe competitions that some of the sponsors hosted. For example, Nature’s Pride held a recipe contest to create a recipe that showcased one of their breads as the star of the dish. As you will see in the upper right hand corner, Julie from Willow Bird Baking put together her winning Blueberry Stuffed French Toast Bowls and it was quite the crowd pleaser. Right below that picture, you will see one of our favorites from the food pavillion, the Chanterelle Mushroom Soup from the Americano Restaurant in San Francisco. It was simply amazing!
From Left to Right
We wished we had a picture of the pears from Frog Hollow Farm to share with you, but it was so juicy, fragrant and delicious that we devoured them before a picture was taken. It’s the best pear I’ve ever eaten. I wish I had a whole crate to myself!
As the day turned into the evening, we were off to the Saturday Night Gala Dinner (a special thanks to our host for the evening – the Cooking Channel) held at the iconic Ferry Building along the bay. The evening kicked off with a wine reception along with tray passed hors d’oeuvres. Boony Doon Vineyardswas the gracious host of the wine for the evening and had each step of the meal perfectly paired with one of their deserving varietals. Our seated meal began with a roasted golden beet tart (pictured in the top middle of the collage) as our first course. Its hard to say anything bad about a dish that includes one of my favorite salad and appetizer accompaniments – beets! The balance of flavors from the feta cheese to the beets and intertwined with the wild arugula and basil puree was divine. The second course was a pair of generously sized seared sea scallops with champagne beurre blanc and set upon a bed of braised fennel. Scallops for an event of this size is a difficult feat to pull off and yet our orders were prepared perfectly. The entree was rosemary and garlic infused loin of lamb with local wild mushrooms, butternut squash puree and a pinot noir sauce. Our lamb was frenched and seasoned to perfection and we were fortunate to have one of the servings that we prepared properly at medium rare. I feel sorry for some of the others at our table that were not so fortunate. The dessert was a buttery almond cake with fresh figs and oranges. It ended up being a solid choice to end a wonderful meal.
I can see why the Grand Hall at the Ferry Building has proven to be such a popular venue for receptions and events alike. The ambiance was warm and inviting for being held in such a staggeringly large concrete building as the event planners did a great job in lighting and decorating the place and put together an attentive wait staff to take care of us throughout the evening. Of course, we were fortunate to spend the evening dining in the company of Daniel and Krissy from The Food Addicts, Liren from Kitchen Confidante, Dorian Asche, community manager for Food Buzz, Chandara from Spicy Green Mango, Nancy from The Wife of A Dairyman as well as Hong and Kim from The Ravenous Couple. We’ll definitely be looking forward to next year’s event and also staying connected with the many talented bloggers that we have come to meet from around the country. We all share that special bond – a love for food! Ciao!
If you missed our part 1 recap of The Foodbuzz Festival, you can check it out here.