The best of Foodbuzz Festival 2010 (+giveaway winner announced)

As most of you know, I attended the Foodbuzz second annual festival this past weekend. Flying to San Francisco for an event like this was completely out of character for me (I am generally very responsible with money) but after months of going over pros and cons, the arguments for meeting like-minded food bloggers (many of which I’ve been following for a while) and eating in one of the best foodie cities in the country won over. 350 food bloggers attended the event this year so I’m sure you’ve read numerous detailed recaps. Here are my highlights of the trip!

BEST BITES

Focaccia from Liguria Bakery (possibly the best thing I ate all weekend!!)

Jalepeno + cheese

Raisin

[A million food bloggers taking pictures of one little thing at the same time cracks me up every time. Of course I was in on the action too πŸ˜‰ ]

Coffee from Caffe Trieste was fantastic. They add frothy milk to every cup. Yum!

Vegan paella from Mind Your Tongue food truck

Carnitas and steak tacos from the Tacolicious food truck (the guys were also really friendly and explained to me how their recipe for success is the combination of local, humainely raised, best quality meats and traditional recipes + I appreciated the onion-free special orders… yeah, yeah, I’m a pain in the ass!)

The Real Korean “tacos” (ssam style “taco”, kalbi short ribs, seasoned rice, drizzle of housemade teriyaki sauce, folded into Japanese & Korean toasted seaweed) from Namu

Everything at the night gala dinner in the Grand Hall of the Ferry Building (such a fantastic space!!!)

… from the roasted golden beet tart with crimbson beet, feta and currants and wild arugula

… to (perfectly) seared scallops with braised fennel

… and cod with local wild mushrooms, pinot noir sauce and butternut squash puree

Every course even had wine pairing. It was a truly special dinner!

MOST DISAPPOINTING EATS

I was so excited about this truck because I loved the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race

The escargot lollipop was basically all dough (boo)

… and the New England lobster cappuccino was fishy and watery.

PRODUCTS I’LL BE SEEKING OUT (all available through Foodzie I believe)

Mendocino sea smoke salt tasted like smoked salmon and added such a unique flavor to fresh tomatoes (they smoke it for 3 days with seaweed)

Annie the Baker’s cookie/cookie dough hybrids (the double chocolate was my favorite!)

INNA jam… jams, lol (partially because my sister’s name is Inna but also because they were delicious)

Pop toffee – so many amazing add-ins. I loved the ones with herbs especially because I’ve never had that before.

I couldn’t get enough of Jalsberg swiss cheese. LOVED it.

This guy from Prather Ranch Meat Co was pretty awesome (his humainely raised hot dogs were crazy juicy and delicious as well!)

Of course I loved these pickles!! Pickled asparagus was super spicy. I was really hoping to win a case (I placed my business card in a jar). Maybe there is still a chance – you know I’m a pickle junkie. :)

These gorgeous, modern and all natural (!!) icing sheets and sprinkles from ticings

They were used in all the cupcakes we tasted (I made sure to taste a bunch for quality control πŸ˜‰ ).

Napa Farmhouse 1885 jams (they had unique flavors like pear and vanilla and fig & grand marnier)

Madecasse chocolates (the one with the cocoa nibs was mmmm, so good!)

JAQK Cellars wine – supuh smooth

… and Bison chocolate stout (I rarely drink beer but I immediately texted Adam about this one. Good stouts are such a yummy treat)

BEST VIEWS

From our morning walk early on Saturday morning (thanks Annelies for organizing it!!)

From the top floor at Metreon (where the tasting event took place on Sat afternoon)

We got so lucky with the weather too. The sunshine (+views) was so therapeutic with a glass of beer in one hand and a cookie in the other πŸ˜‰

BEST “OTHERS”

The Food Network was filming a show about Brandon of Mission Minis.

He made a fabulous display of cupcakes (I liked the cream cheese frosting)

I learned some new food photo tricks (I’ll share those in a separate post once I implement them)

… and about sustainable fishing practices in Alaska (also to be covered in a separate post). Very cool! πŸ˜€

I also learned that some things are pretty but not very tasty. But that’s ok, there was plenty of other fish in the sea πŸ˜‰

But most importantly, I got to spend time with my Boston buddies in a new city and met so many amazing bloggers!! I can’t wait to go through all of their blogs (I have at least 100 cards!) and find new favorites! Thank you Foodbuzz for organizing such a fun event. I hope I can make it to next year’s! πŸ˜€

PS – The winner of the Keurig coffee maker giveaway is #101. Heather shared some interesting coffee related news with us and said: “News! McDonalds is going to start selling organic coffee in New England to compete with independent coffee shops. Let’s see how this goes, huh?” Heather, please email me your address to elina@healthyandsane.com

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