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No Rice-a-Roni here! Now I know many people are sick of the Foodbuzz Festival recaps so I am going to keep it at just 2, my Tasting Pavilion and Gala Dinner posts. I do, however, have a few Sonoma posts and one from San Francisco to go. Since it’s Friday, I thought I would have a little fun with food eye candy from San Francisco and its surrounding areas.

Before I launch into my photo delights, I did want to say that I’d like to get back to doing a weekly Friday Foodie Feature. If you would like to be featured, just shoot me an email at traveleatlove at

While at the Foodbuzz Festival, we were subjected to a little forced mingling in the form of swapping a foodie gift that represented our region or blog. I brought a bottle of Bonny Doon Verjus given the amount of cooking I do with wine (and the fact that I forgot to make/bring something from Boston!).

For the fun Friday question I would love to know what foodie gift you would bring (or did bring, if you attended Foodbuzz Festival) to represent your region, blog, cooking style etc.? I am looking forward to your responses!

Taqueria El Jarro, our pre-wine tasting at Bonny Doon snack

Taqueria el Jarro

Taqueria el Jarro

Tilapia tacos, not fried, just delicate white fish surrounded by fresh avocado, cilantro, and spicy salsa

tilapia tacos

The San Francisco Ferry Building, aka, food heaven

Cheese at Cowgirl Creamery

Cowgirl Creamery

Macarons at Miette

Miette macarons from Miette

‘Shrooms at Far West Fungi

lobster mushrooms

Mission Minis put the B in Foodbuzz


More tacos, more hot sauce, and more salsa at El Sombrero in Healdsburg, CA

salsa and hot sauce

Ahh yes, we at well both at Foodbuzz Festival and in our travels around Northern California. Wine tasting posts to come!

And if you have a second, please check out my latest post!

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Tags: California, Cupcakes, ferry building, Food, San Francisco, tacos

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

A slightly overwhelming day and a half of food, wine, and networking would sum up my view of the 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Festival. Not meant in a bad way at all, but I feel like it went by in a blip, almost like it never happened. Luckily, 350 bloggers caught it on camera, so we will always remember that it did Smile

One of the highlights of the Foodbuzz Festival for me is the tasting pavilion. Held in the same place as last year, the San Francisco Metreon, the pavilion offered all sorts of food, wine, and beer samples, in addition to cooking demos from the various Foodbuzz sponsor contests.

I made my way over to the Metreon with Elina, Elizabeth, Janetha, Elise, and Holly.

Metreon Foodbuzz Bloggers

Every single Foodbuzz Festival attendee was starving at this point and itching to taste, but we behaved as the patient bloggers that we are and spent some time milling around the foyer and outdoor patio areas while we waited to stampede. . .  Devil I mean patiently enter into the tasting area.

Foodbuzz Festival

Festival staff handed us a wine glass as we entered, and then Elina and I decided to head straight for the back of the room, a decision that proved to be successful, and one I often utilize in big wine tastings. While the crowd clogged up the first tables, we sampled our first few dishes.

Foodbuzz Festival

Shrimp cocktail from a restaurant in Oakland whose name escapes me.  The shrimp was great, but the sauce was a little too sweet.

shrimp cocktail

The Alaska Seafood fish taco station was our next stop. We were some of the first people in line, and was I ever glad later on when the line was a few dozen long.

Alaska Seafood

taco bar fish taco

The best part about the Alaska Seafood taco bar? Obviously the toppings! I loaded my salmon taco with jicama, guacamole, corn salsa, and hot sauce. And then I chowed down!

Next I moved on to the Foodzie area where I sampled some kickin’ spicy pistachio toffee. Pop toffee from Etsy

Some totally gooey and sweet dough balls from Annie the Baker

Annie the Baker

And spicy pickled vegetables of all sorts from Pick-A-Peck. The pickled asparagus was my favorite, and while the people staffing the table told me some great uses for these pickled veggies, I am not sure I would make it past eating them all straight from the jar. Yum!

Pick a Peck Pickles

I warmed my body and soothed my soul with Tyler Florence’s butternut squash and apple soup.

butternut squash bisque

And enjoyed dessert and beer in one in a Bison Chocolate Stout.

Bison Chocolate Stout

We learned about real, high quality (and pretty!) sprinkles from Ticings.

Ticings sprinkles

And finally spent some time soaking up the warm November San Francisco sun with new and old friends on the Metreon’s outdoor patio space. You may recognize Chels and Sues from We Are Not Martha Smile and of course, Elina from both Healthy and Sane and the new blog, Russian Bites.

Boston bloggers


I actually failed to photograph my favorite taste of the day, the Chanterelle mushroom soup from Americano. Sweet, savory, warm, frothy, this soup was simply perfect, though not photogenic. I overheard the chef saying that the soup had Madeira wine in it, and I am now plotting a mushroom soup making lab to see if I can recreate it.

The Foodbuzz Festival tasting pavilion is filled with magnificent delights, and this is simply a recap of my favorites. Once again, the Foodbuzz staff and their vendor sponsors outdid themselves with the display of decadence that they put together.

I have so many posts to go, and today I am enjoying one last day of wine tasting in the Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley. Not having a full time job will come in handy, at least for this week so I can catch up on blog posts!

What was the most delicious thing you tasted this weekend?

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Tags: bloggers, Food, foodbuzz, Foodbuzz Festival, San Francisco, wine

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