10.21.2012

Foodbuzz Blogger Festival Recap!


Abbie and I started this blog back in July of last year. Since 2006, when we moved away from each other, we started regularly texting and emailing back and forth our favorite foods, style sites, running articles and anything else we thought was interesting. Our in-boxes were overflowing, and one day I said to her “We should totally do this.” She said to me, "what?" My simple reply was "start a blog." And so we did.

We don't take things too seriously on the blog, but for me, its gotten to be part of my life. Its a way to vent, share, laugh, and take my mind away from the day to day grind. Then, my friend Morgan came to visit.

About a year ago, around this time, Morgan called me and said, “Hey, I'm going to be in San Francisco for a food blogging festival, let's get a drink.” I was supper excited and remember saying to myself “What? Food Bloggers have a festival? That's crazy....crazy awesome!” I met up with Morgan and her co-blogger Tiffany while they were in town, heard all about their blog, Strudel and Streusel, and they shared their experiences of that year's event. Instantly, I was hooked. I really wanted to be part of this community and go to this awesome event next year.

I went home that night and looked into this FoodBuzz thing

Fast forward to present day and this weekend in particular...my first Food Blogger's Festival!



I missed Abbie and was sad she couldn't be here with me. But I wasn't alone. I had my amazing blogger friends Morgan and Tiffany who came back for year 2 and about 200+ other bloggers who were all partaking the the foodie festivities this weekend.

The weekend started out with registration and happy hour at Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. I stopped by the check in table to get my swag bag and cash for dinner and I was off to meet my lady friends. 
We had a drink in Harry Denton's Starlight Room and some lovely appetizers and we were off to our dinner reservation at Butterfly.
All the goodies!
Foodbuzz and OpenTable provided us each with $50 cash for dinner out on the town! Literally, a $50 bill. Awesome. We sat down in the dark ambiance of the restaurant and got right to it. To start, drinks. I decided to go all out with the Kiwi and Cucumber Gimlet that had Hendrick’s gin, muddled kiwi and cucumber, and lime. Oh my. This one could have gotten me in trouble if I kept ordering them. So good. 
 Next was an appetizer. House edamame and we ordered Crispy Fried Calamari with ponzu cucumbers, toasted garlic, micro cilantro, and tabasco remoulade. Also, wonderful. I think frying seafood it a fine art. You have make sure there is an even distribution of batter and fish. They did a great job. 
And onto the main course – I decided to go with the Baby Gnocchi and Summer Squash Stir Fry with tempura fried squash blossoms, housemade ricotta cheese, ratatouille relish. Yup – amazing. 
Of course, we got desert. It was hard to choose, but we decided to share the Iron Skillet Cookie that was served with mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was a perfect way to top off the meal. Thank you again Opentable and Foodbuzz – it was truly a treat and I'll be recommending people to dine at Butterfly in the future.

Day 2: I couldn't make the first event, but I heard it was pretty great. It was a scavenger hunt at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market. I love, love, love this Market and could probably stay there the entire day eating and people watching. I hope they have this again next year so I can make sure to experience it. 

I was able to meet up with Morgan and Tiffany that afternoon for the next event. Foodbuzz had a tasting pavilion set up for us. It was from 1pm-4pm and we stayed most of the afternoon. I stuffed myself FULL during this thing. It was intense! 
I wore a roomy dress to make sure I was comfortable.  Most of the products we tasted are available at Whole Foods – I'll be adding a few to my shopping list. A lot of folks were local and I made sure to grab some cards so I can go visit their getups. Here were some of my favorite:
One of my first stops was at Madagascar for some delicious chocolate.
They make fair trade chocolate in Madagascar. My favorite flavors:
Sea Salt and Nibs and they spicy Cinnamon and Sakay
After Suppa is a non-profit bakery.
The owner, Meredith Lee, baked all these whoppie pies in her kitchen for us and they were delicious!
All their profits will go to local school to help with their libraries. My inner nerd was so excited for this.

Nature Box - I love this concept. Its like a CSA box but with snacks instead of veggies.
I am all about convenience when it comes to healthy food. 
Cupcake Vineyards Wine! I love this wine and actually have 2 bottles sitting in my kitchen.
I was excited to see them here and hope to visit their winery in Livermore very soon. 
California Walnuts had a booth and they made these chewy energy bars.
Gotta find that recipe...
Salted Crunchy Caramels from Kika's Treats...to die for. I need more of this in my life. 
Fresh pickles from the Sonoma Brinery. Yes, please. This goes on the top of my list.
 They are local and in a ton of places. I will find you soon you beautiful pickles you. 
The best Zucchini Soup I've ever had.
Thank you Real Simple Delicious. I can't wait to try your other flavors. 
Hands down, the best crab cake I've ever had. I wanted to stuff at least 10 more in my mouth purse.
Alaska Seafood  - you gave me another reason to visit Alaska.  
And other amazing, great products that will be adding to my shopping list. 

After the tasting/stuffing our face session with all the amazing food, we went back to Morgan and Tiffany's hotel room for some recovery time and to slip into a small food coma. We literally laid on the bed for hours digesting our food and watching the food network and help bring out appetite back up. 

Then it was time for more food! Off to the Gala we go...

The Gala started at 6:30 with a shuttle ride to the California Academy of Sciences, which is in the middle of Golden Gate Park. I haven't visited this place yet so I was happy to see some where new. And WOW. This place is beautiful!

We walk in and were greeted with this guy...
And given a watermelon shooter and a little raw tuna wonton dish to start. We headed to the aquarium where they had an open bar and cheeses spread out for us. We got to explore the museum for some time and just enjoyed the evening.

We were totally fascinated by this guy for a good 10 minutes.
All my very favorite Cowgirl Creamery cheeses. 
Dinner was ready and it was set up buffet style. They had so many dishes it was hard to choose where to start.

Buffet 2 was right next to our table, so we started there.
Then onto some Buffet 1 and some appetizers.
I knew I had to save room for dessert...but my seams were going to bust. Even on my roomy dress. (why aren't moo moos cute?)
I nibbles some dessert then we decided we had to go. Food coma number two was closing in.
Overall, it was a pretty great weekend. If you asked me last June if I thought I'd be going to a food bloggers festival, I probably would have laughed – a lot. It's funny where life takes us and the paths we choose. I never thought this would be one of of those paths...but I (and my belly) are so happy to be here.

Until next year Foodbuzz – Thanks for everything!

Cheers,

Erica

3 comments:

  1. Your photos are gorgeous! I'll have to check out Butterfly -- everything you ate sounds delicious.

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  2. It was so nice hanging with you last weekend! Look forward to doing it again...and again...and again!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Steus - I think I am finally coming out of my food coma! - Erica

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