Thursday, November 19, 2009

Part I: Food Blogger Festival Favorite Things

I was lucky enough to attend the Foodbuzz Food Bloggers Festival a few weeks back here in SF, and have been meaning to do a wrap-up. As I was jotting down thoughts, I realized there's no way I can cover all in one posting so here's Part I of what will be two posts on my favorite things from a phenomenal event. This post covers Alternative Dining Experiences and Healthy Eats. Part II will include Holiday Foodie Gift Sources, Best Wines and Sandwiches (random I know, but I had two of the best of my life there), as well as unveil the utensil from my goodie bag that prompted me to run my "if you could only use one utensil the rest of your life" poll. Here goes Part I...

Top "Alternative Dining" Experiences:
The Outstanding In The Field (OITF) dinner, set in Greenleaf Produce's South SF warehouse and cooked by SF's Namu restaurant. OITF is something I've wanted to do for years thanks to my foodie buddy Michael Thacker. It's a big dinner that feels part flash mob, part wedding feast, part art show, and is mostly just incredibly delicious as the guest chefs use all seasonal, local produce, usually from the farm the meal is held at (to get a better sense check out their photo gallery). In our case, it also felt part rave being in an industrial district, but hey when you have hundreds of people at a city conference a produce warehouse is a damn fine substitute for a farm field! Especially when the food (for pics see my friend Steph's photos here... more on her in a bit) is as good as what Namu turned out -- so good that I went to their actual restaurant this week. It's a neighborhood gem. I saw the same crew working away, they had fun music going, a buzzing crowd and of course the food was delicious again. They also have special nights -- Monday free bar food from 9:30 - 10:30pm, Tuesday free cab ride on them, and Wednesday there was something too which I'm blanking on (sorry!).

ForageSF -- So we didn't actually have a ForageSF dinner, but I did have the pleasure of meeting founder Iso Rabins, which I enjoyed because I'd been to one of his dinners at Radio Africa Kitchen. His dinners (and Radio Africa Kitchen) are both additional fabulous alternative dining experiences. Iso forages for wild ingredients like seaweed, mushrooms and shellfish. Then a guest chef turns out a feast using the wild food. If you're local I'd strongly recommend you sign up to keep in the loop, I just did!

Healthy Eats:
Steph Chows -- Steph and I enjoyed hanging out throughout the Festival. She's got the most vivacious personality yet in a very down-to-earth way that I kinda miss from growing up in Wisconsin... she's good to the core, and she likes to eat healthy like I do! But we have a very similar perspective -- eat healthy most of the time and workout, but enjoy your food and splurge sometimes too (see her peanut butter and chocolate bread pudding muffins for a splurge-worthy recipe). We were both huge fans of the lavender raw cheesecake we tried from Alive (more on them next) and I knew I adored her when she went back for seconds of the Strauss ice cream and we discussed our mutual adoration for the coffee flavor. I must admit to being intimidated by her blog it's so well-written and got such character. I aspire to be like her someday... make sure you check it out. She even put a nice photo of us about halfway through her wrap-up, and the photo here of us was hers too!

Alive Restaurant -- I thought I'd tried all the raw/vegan/healthy restaurant options in SF. Turns out I was missing one very impressive option. Alive served a couple savory options and a sweet treat at the Friday dinner, and their food was outstanding! I can't wait to get to the restaurant to try it out. The raw cracker with avocado on top and raw cheesecake were favorites of mine. Even though there was tons of bad-for-me food around like pizza and cup cakes, I would have happily filled up on those.

1 comment:

  1. Great post girl!! I'm totally blushing from all the compliments, thank you so much! It was so nice to find you this weekend!! I had a blast and can't wait till we can meet up again! If you are even on the east coast let me know :D