SF Chefs. Food. Wine. Highlight Reel

| August 10, 2009 | 6 Comments
  • 6 Comments

SF Chefs.Food.Wine. Ribbon Cutting
SF Chefs. Food. Wine. Ribbon Cutting: Linda Lim, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Kevin Westlye, Tyler Florence

To quote Mayor Gavin Newsom, “Aspen, eat your heart out.”

An epic event 2 ½ years in the making, SF Chefs. Food. Wine. was like a food-lover’s Disneyland with over 200 of the Bay Area’s finest chefs, 450 wineries, and mixologists aplenty strutting their stuff.

Over the past four days, Union Square was transformed into a playground of tastings, seminars, and demonstrations from a who’s who list of culinary legends, rising stars, artisans, and experts.

SF Chefs Charles Phan, Thomas Keller, Douglas Keane
View from the top: Charles Phan, Thomas Keller, Douglas Keane

SF Chefs Sara Moulton and Cindy Pawclyn
Sara Moulton and Cindy Pawlcyn

Sf Chefs Martin Yan
Martin Yan, Yan Can Cook

SF Chefs Jennifer Biesty and Ryan Scott
Top Cheftestants Jennifer Biesty and Ryan Scott

It sometimes feel like a blessing and a curse to live in a city with so many amazing restaurants to try because let’s face it, who can afford to try them all? One can read about them, drool over descriptions and photos of them, and then place them on an ever-growing bucket list of places to try. The Grand Tasting Tent at SF Chefs provided the rare opportunity to hone that list, allowing participants to really taste, touch, see, and feel for themselves, a sliver of what some of these heralded restaurants are all about. The air was electric and the excitement palpable, as the wine flowed and the bites were dished out.

SF Chefs Moss Room Monterey Squid
Monterey Squid, Chef Justin Simoneaux, Moss Room

SF Chefs Lemongrass Thai Green Wrap
Thai Wrap, Chef Toi Sawatdee, Lemongrass Thai Cuisine

It was interesting to see the chefs do riffs on many of the same ingredients that are in peak season right now: corn, heirloom tomatoes, melons, figs, and refreshing preparations like gazpachos and ceviches.

SF Chefs Cortez bruleed fig
Bruleed Fig with Kaffir Lime Oil and Vanilla Salt, Chef Jenn Puccio, Cortez

And, there was no shortage of parties…all benefiting good causes of course: the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Project Open Hand, and the San Francisco Food Bank (a member of Feeding America).

Thursday night reunited Rising Star Chefs and Bar Stars named by the San Francisco Chronicle, and a special dinner prepared by Arnold Eric Wong (E&O Trading Co.), Charles Phan (The Slanted Door/Heaven’s Dog), and Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook).

Friday night honored America’s Culinary Pioneers, Emily Luchetti (Farallon/Waterbar), Judy Rodgers (Zuni Café), Patricia Unterman (Hayes Street Grill), Joyce Goldstein (author and restaurateur), and Chuck Williams (Williams-Sonoma). There was also Out in the Fog, a celebration of the diverse LGBT community, at Elizabeth Falkner’s Orson. It was chic, it was sexy, and it had a giant projection of Julia baking a cake on the wall.

Party time went strong through Saturday night, and the tasting tent was bumping with DJ Chef Hubert Keller laying down some beats at the Urban BBQ. Rock Star.

SF Chefs DJ Hubert Keller
DJ Chef Hubert Keller

God forbid that dancing put anyone in a negative calorie count. The night continued at a Chocolate Enchantment after-party, complete with a floor to ceiling spinning display of chocolate decadence.

SF Chefs chocolate enchantment
SF Chefs chocolate enchantment

This weekend’s festivities were a true celebration of the unique culinary spirit of San Francisco, bringing together a community of both industry and non-industry people through a common love of food. It was a treat to have executive chefs live and in person, serving their dishes and chatting about their food, or seeing them interact with one another and catching a glimpse of that intriguing “chef’s world” that has captured our imagination. We are a city that loves our food, and by direct association, honors the craftsmen and -women who bring joy through food.

SF Chefs. Food. Wine. hit on a winning combination of accessibility to hometown celeb-status chefs, utterly delicious food, fine wine, education, and awareness of important issues in food politics. It was fun, multi-faceted, and full of passion. It was, in a nutshell, San Francisco.

SF Chefs Bread Montage Trolley Car
Ding-ding

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, chefs, culinary education and classes, dessert and chocolate, food history and celebrities, san francisco

About the Author ()

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well. Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine. Stephanie's writing and photography have been featured in Fodor's Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.
  • http://www.furlinedteacup.com erika

    The events looked awesome but the $150 per day tickets that included two educational sessions and the midday tasting, with anything else extra, was too rich for my blood.

  • Michele

    I totally agree with erika. The ticket prices were outrageous!! I would be really interested in the number of tickets that given to friends and family of the organizers??????????????

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie Im

    Granted the tickets were on the high end (ranging from $40 Chocolate evening party, to $95 Urban BBQ, to $150 full day passes). Although, unlike other events like the Great American Food Fest fiasco, where tickets were priced lower, but experience was diminished, the tastings at SF Chefs were equivalent to all you can eat/drink of SF’s finest food, wine, and cocktails. Plus, one of the coolest things was that all these amazing chefs were right there, hanging out, and totally accessible throughout the event. Pretty rare.

  • http://www.furlinedteacup.com/ Erika

    The events definitely all sounded cool, but would (or could)you personally have paid $300 out of pocket to attend per day pus some events? But to be frank, I can’t think of many foodies I know especially in this economic environment, who could have unless they were writing it off as a business expense.

    The slow food fest certainly was not perfect, but had far more accessible prices. It would be great to see some sort of middle ground on these types of events.

  • http://www.furlinedteacup.com/ Erika

    reposting to remove my unfortuante typo…

    The events definitely all sounded cool, but would (or could)you personally have paid $300 out of pocket to attend the basic sessions each day plus some events? To be frank, I can’t think of many foodies I know especially in this economic environment, who could have unless they were writing it off as a business expense.

    The slow food fest certainly was not perfect, but had far more accessible prices. It would be great to see some sort of middle ground on these types of events.

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie Im

    Hi Erika, valid points, i personally would have just chosen 1 day to attend if paying out of pocket. it seems that lately a ton of food celebrations are springing up, all with dif formats and dif price points. there’s the SF Streetfood Fest, the Eat Real Fest, and Slow Food’s Potluck Eat-In all coming up. No shortage of events to nosh through this summer!