Food Porn from the Tasting Tent at SF Chefs 2012

| August 6, 2012 | 0 Comments
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SF Chefs: Saturday Grand Tasting
SF Chefs: Saturday Grand Tasting

Union Square transformed into an eating extravaganza this past weekend at SF Chefs as over 200 of the city’s finest chefs, winemakers, brewers, and mixologists strutted their stuff.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of restaurants to try in this culinary powerhouse of a city? At SF Chefs we got the chance to try bites from places we’ve had our eyes on. Here are highlights from the Saturday Afternoon Grand Tasting:

SF Chefs: Peaches and Burrata from AQ
Peaches and Burrata from AQ

AQ Restaurant & Bar had one of my favorite dishes of the day with their Peaches and Burrata served over almond butter and smoked ham. The peaches were at the height of summer ripeness, lush and juicy, accented with sweet woodruff, a leafy green whose oil has a vanilla-fig flavor. I’ve been wanting to try AQ for some time now and this just sealed the deal.

SF Chefs: Ricotta and Egg Yolk Raviolo from Per Diem
Ricotta and Egg Yolk Raviolo from Per Diem

Chef Adam Hinojosa from Per Diem wowed us with his Ricotta and Egg Yolk Ravioli dusted with prosciutto powder, and served in a lemony pork jus over a bit of heirloom tomato jam. The pasta dough was a bit undercooked, but props to Per Diem for going all out on this…not an easy feat especially when catering for a crowd this size.

SF Chefs: Kara’s Cupcakes, Chocolate and Caramel
Kara’s Cupcakes, Chocolate and Caramel

Kara’s Cupcakes is always a crowd-pleaser, and this was no exception. On Saturday, Kara’s offered up mini sweet treats of rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Filling and Chocolate Ganache Frosting and Sweet Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Frosting. They’re little so you can have two…or three.

SF Chefs: Pork Belly from The Ahwahnee
Pork Belly from The Ahwahnee

Fatty pork is a requisite for any tasting event, and The Ahwahnee did not disappoint with its crispy Pork Belly over pepper sauce.

SF Chefs: Zucchini Stuffed with Smoked Eggplant and Veal Ragout from Café Des Amis
Zucchini Stuffed with Smoked Eggplant and Veal Ragout from Café Des Amis

Café Des Amis had one of the most creative offerings, serving up Petits Farcis a la Provencal, rounds of roasted zucchini stuffed with smoked eggplant and veal ragout, and topped with cherry tomato and anchovy. The bite was meaty and savory, light and fresh at the same time.

SF Chefs: Cured Sardines over Potato Puree from Perbacco
Cured Sardines over Potato Puree from Perbacco

I’m a sucker for sardines, and Perbacco’s Chef Staffan Tarje must know it. His Cured Local Sardines over Olive Oil Potato Puree was well balanced, with a bit of crunchy radishes and a lively wild fennel salsa verde brightening it all up.

SF Chefs: Gelato in Brioche from Pizzeria Delfina
Gelato in Brioche from Pizzeria Delfina

Pizzeria Delfina brought some cool respite to the hungry masses in the form of Gelato in Brioche — ice cream sandwiches, Italian style.

SF Chefs: Negroni Sbagliato from Campari
Negroni Sbagliato from Campari

And let’s not forget about the cocktails. Campari made a “mistake” really work with its Negroni Sbagliato: Campari, Vermouth, and Prosecco (instead of the usual gin).

Chefs Dominique Crenn and Marcus Samuelsson
Chefs Dominique Crenn and Marcus Samuelsson

Not only does SF Chefs satisfy your appetite, it gives you the opportunity to meet the talented folks behind the food. It’s rare to have so many of the city’s best chefs all under one roof, and it was great to see them mingling, signing books, and up on the demo stage. As we’ve said before, it often seems as if the celebs in this town are the ones wielding knives. SF Chefs brings our city’s A-List front and center, and accessible to their adorning fans.

Click on thumbnails to see full images and activate the slideshow

Chef Hubert Keller (Fleur de Lys)Roasted Coconut, Ginger, Onions, Spinach Leaf (Lemongrass Thai Cuisine)Summer Melon Soup, Habanero Gazpacho, Crème Fraiche (Mayfield Bakery & Café)Bloody Mary Infused Early Girl Tomato (Spruce)Chef Mark Sullivan (Spruce)Crab BLT (Nettie’s Crab Shack)Coconut Ceviche (E&O Asian Kitchen)King Salmon, Gravenstein Apple, Housemade Lardo, Watermelon Radish (Poggio)Liquid Nitrogen DacquirisSpinach Crepe, Corn Custard, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Toasted Quinoa (Sutro's at the Cliff House)

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Category: bay area, Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, chefs, events, san francisco, wine

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.