The Foodbuzz staff have outdone themselves again this year with the 2nd annual Foodbuzz Festival gala dinner. San Francisco’s Ferry Building set the scene for an elegant, exceptional evening that seemed to go off without a hitch.
After a day at the tasting pavilion, Elina, Elizabeth, and I took a taxi over to the Ferry Building and immediately encountered staff busy creating our multi-course meal.
The Ferry Building at night is spectacularly lit and much quieter than it is during the day! Its architecture is both strong and delicate, its expansive great halls adorned with lovely details.
Food-friendly Bonny Doon Vineyards wine led us through each course, starting with cocktail hour little bites like cheese gougère paired with 2009 Ca’ del Solo Muscat. As we tasted through trays of passed treats, I noticed how exceptionally well the Muscat went with each bite, especially the zucchini and parmesan Madelines with cured salmon and lemon pepper cream. This Muscat is incredibly refreshing and was the perfect wine to sip while we waited for the main event.
Once the eager Foodbuzz Festival attendees had the chance to enter the main event space, the upstairs event space at the Ferry Building, we discovered a magically transformed room with twinkly candle-lighting and whimsical green centerpieces.
And a drool-worthy menu specially created for the Fooduzz Festival.
The first course, a Roasted Golden Beet Tart paired with 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Ca’ del Solo Albarino, disappeared really quickly. Somehow, despite an afternoon of eating at the tasting pavilion, I was hungry. Not to mention, the creamy, earthy tart and peppery arugula were delicious with the crispness of the Albarino.
Next up were Seared Scallops with Bonny Doon Vineyard Verjus Beurre Blanc, paired with 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc. On our visit to Bonny Doon (post to come!) we ordered some of the Verjus, a non-alcoholic Grenache that is addictive all by itself but is also an excellent addition to a variety of dishes. I can not wait to cook with it and to recreate this simply mouthwatering scallop recipe. Loads of fennel, perfectly cooked scallops, and a buttery, tart Verjus Beurre Blanc made this my favorite dish of the night.
The main course was lamb, but the wait staff at the Ferry Building was exceptional and asked each person at the table individually about food restrictions. For those of us who didn’t eat lamb, they offered a Black Cod over Butternut Squash Puree and Local Mushrooms. The wine pairing with this course was 2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant and while it was intended for the lamb, I thought it went beautifully with the hearty fish and seasonal sides.
We just kept eating! The final course, dessert, was a Tarta de Almendras with Oranges served with 2008 Bonny Doon Vinferno dessert wine. The fragrant but light almond tart and ripe figs provided only a hint of sweetness which made the sweet honey flavors and heavier body of the wine a great match. Like everything else at Foodbuzz Festival, this menu was designed with a great attention to detail.
The Foodbuzz Festival gala dinner, like the rest of the event, was filled with such a positive buzz of ideas and friendships being built. It went by so quickly but not without the opportunity for lots of networking and laughing.
I am home again in Boston and slightly panicking about the job hunt. While I planned on taking at least a month fully off, it is SUCH an odd feeling, and I am hoping to have some solid job leads in the near future. In the meantime, there is writing to do, reading for wine class, and bread to bake!