Foodbuzz Festival Gala Dinner

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.

Foodbuzz Festival Ferry Building

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.

Ferry Building

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.

Bonny Doon Ca del solo

Foodbuzz Festival cocktail party

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.

Foodbuzz Festival menu

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.

golden beet tart

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.

scallops with Verjus beurre blanc

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.

black cod with butternut squash puree

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.

tarta de almendras with oranges

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!

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Tags: bloggers, Bonny Doon Vineyards, ferry building, Food, foodbuzz, Foodbuzz Festival, San Francisco, wine

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Welcome home and good luck with the job hunt…I’m sending positive thoughts your way!


  2. Sues’s avatar

    Such a delicious dinner!! And it was fabulous hanging with you on the other coast :) Hope you had a great rest of your trip!!!


  3. Enrico’s avatar

    you take the best pictures, just the detail alone make me hungry. Did you go to class to understand the lighting? The FoodBuzz festival sounds like it got the best of places in San Francisco for the FoodBuzz Festival. I understand the Ferry building is very pretty


  4. Simply Life’s avatar

    wow,what a wonderful spread and experience!


  5. Daisy’s avatar

    this dinner looks incredible! glad you had a nice time out there!


  6. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Ohh what I would do to have that golden beet tart again. Also, I love your shot of the wine glass with the beads on the table.


  7. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

    What a gala! I’m so sorry I missed it!


  8. Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox’s avatar

    Wow! That looks like a fabulous evening!
    Good luck w/ the job hunt


  9. Jolene (’s avatar

    Weren’t the scallops AMAZING!!!!!


  10. Kelly’s avatar

    Yum, that whole meal looks amazing- not that I would expect anything less from Foodbuzz!

    Don’t start freaking out yet, you still have lots of fun left to be had :) and I’m living vicariously through you. Not that I want a new job, I just want a month off :)


  11. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    The venue looks beautiful and the meal delicious. What a fantastic trip :)


  12. Boulder Locavore’s avatar

    Beautiful post! For we FoodBuzzers at home it was like we were there reading your wonderful descriptions and seeing the photos. I’m an ex-Californian and loved Bonny Doon vineyards. Thanks you for your post!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Thank you! If you can get to the Foodbuzz Fest next year, I definitely recommend it!


    2. Grace’s avatar

      I am not a food blogger, but the Foodbuzz Festival kind of makes me want to become one! What an amazing day of eating, drinking, and mingling with other Foodbuzzers!


    3. Alison’s avatar

      Didn’t we drink Boony Doon at last year’s festival? I can’t remember… and that Cod dish looks phenomenal.


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        We did! The winemaker, Randall Grahm, was at the final dinner last year. This year he was at the first night event, but we still had Bonny Doon wine with dinner. We missed you so much and totally wished you were there!


      2. Jason Phelps’s avatar

        Definitely a memorable lineup. I was hoping to meet Randall this week in Boston, but the visit got cancelled at the last minute. I have enjoyed every sip of Bonny Doon wine I have ever had.



      3. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

        What a dinner, the last dish looks especially yummy!


      4. alicia’s avatar

        That meal looks amazing. Good luck with the job hunting!


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