Tag Archives: Foodbuzz Festival

After the ‘Buzz

After the official Foodbuzz festivities were over, many of us still had time in San Francisco before our flights. I only had a few hours, but I put them to good use.

Look familiar?

Laura, Raya and I returned to the beautiful Ferry Building… this time in the daylight!

Well, sort of the daylight. It was pretty rainy and gloomy. I think San Francisco was crying because we were leaving.

That umbrella still has the tag on it because I had just purchased it!

Unfortunately, I hadn’t bought it before the downpour in which I got drenched that morning. Thanks to Amanda and Andy for letting me dry off with their hairdryer! 🙂

We all made the most of the situation. Because, you know, anything that can pass as an excuse for a photo is okay by bloggers.

Of course.

We’re all such hams. I love it.

We went in and checked out a bunch of the shops, many of which had been represented at the Taste Pavilion.

But the best was when I happened upon this place… Beekind.

A honey stand!

The guys that worked here were so nice and informative. They really knew their stuff.

We were led through a tasting, during which I tried a few but absolutely fell in love with the Chai High Infusion Honey. Yes, you read that correctly.

I got some to go, so you’ll be seeing it soon on KWH! I also picked up a honey-sweetened almond coconut truffle (to die for) and a honey taffy (also to die for). Both went unpictured, but please trust me on their amazingness.

Yes, I know that’s not a word.

Laura and Raya also picked up some vegan, organic donuts, but I just didn’t feel like eating at the time, so I didn’t get anything. They both offered me tastes, though, and I really enjoyed them. I’m not a big donut fan (too sweet and too greasy), but these were neither overly sweet nor were they at all greasy. That’s my kind of donut.

The best part of the day was when the rain went away and we caught this:

I felt so, so lucky in that moment.

I mean, seriously. What a wonderful life I lead.

On that perfect ending note, I said goodbye to my roommates…

…and goodbye to San Francisco…

… and I was off!

A big THANK YOU to Foodbuzz for hosting this amazing, amazing festival. It was one of the best weekends of my life!

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Foodbuzz Festival: Sunday Morning Brunch

The final official Foodbuzz event! The Farewell Brunch.

I’ll admit… by this point, I was pretty tired and pretty food-ed out. In other words, I wasn’t all about this brunch.

In fact, when the lines started going crazy, I was almost more inclined to stay seated.

But then, what kind of food blogger would I be?

So, I took some (dark, sorry) pictures of the set-up…

(That’s the chef!)

… and then eventually put together a plate.

I got one each of the Country White Bread and Pork Sausage Gravy, the Roasted Vegetable Spanish Frittata, Cinnamon Nutty French Toast, and Yogurt Parfait…. but really, all I actually wanted was the fruit. I ended up ignoring the french toast entirely.

What I did care about at this brunch was spending more time getting to know and then saying goodbye to other bloggers!

Prepare for way too many pictures of me.

Roomie picture with Laura, Heather and Raya:

Got to chat with the stunningly beautiful Mama Pea!

With Mara:

Finally got to meet one of my blogging idols, Kath!

She was so sweet and attentive and taught me a lot about my camera settings very quickly. That girl is a rock star.

With Janetha, one of the sweetest girls ever:

The Two Boos with Janetha:

With Eden (a fellow LA blogger!):

With Lewis and Ashlee again:

With Melissa, one of my favorite people I met this weekend:

And finally, for one of my favorite moments because it was with three of my all-time favorite bloggers (and all SoCal bloggers, too!), I snapped a picture with Melissa, Monica and Bobbi!

Doesn’t it seem like I was at a celebrity-ridden event?

I guess I kind of was!

And with that, the Foodbuzz Festival was over….

However, I have one last installment to write, as I hung around in San Francisco for a few hours more. 🙂

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Foodbuzz Festival: Saturday Night Gala Dinner

On Saturday night, Foodbuzz had the hookup.

We wined and dined at the famous Ferry Building.

Gorgeous.

First, I walked over with Andy, Amanda, Jessie and Jessie.

When we got there, we were greeted with (more) wine and many glasses to fill.

Though my liver protested (kidding… mostly), I wasn’t about to leave them hanging.

For much of the time outside, I chatted with these two lovely ladies.

Amanda and Yelena.

Appetizers were passed…

… but, other than tasting the two above, I mostly abstained. I was still vaguely full from the Taste Pavilion and wanted to save room for the epic dinner ahead!

Speaking of which…

It was held up here:

I know, right?

Even the details on the wine glass-covered tables were beautiful.

I was lucky enough to sit between Yelena

…and Andy.

They were a lot of fun. 🙂

Some of the rest of my table:

Raya, Laura, Amanda and Andy (again). There were more bloggers at the table, but sadly, I didn’t manage to capture them on my camera.

There were four courses and each of them was paired with a wine. I managed to drink each of the first three but simply could not manage the fourth and final wine.

First Course

Each course was served with bread, but I only had one piece, with this course.

Second Course

Hands down, my favorite course. Also one of my favorite tastes of the entire weekend.

Entrée


(This was the only wine I remembered to capture. The blurriness of the picture also sort of reminds me of how I felt at this point!)

Dessert

I hated it, obviously.

Ahh. What a lovely evening.

I’ll tell you one thing’s for sure: Foodbuzz knows how to throw a party.

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Foodbuzz Festival: Saturday Afternoon Taste Pavilion

Buckle up, because this one’s going to be a doozy. I won’t write much. Pictures speak louder than words, you know what I mean?

Soon after the Breakout Sessions ended, the Tasting Pavilion began.

It was held at the City View Space at the Metreon.

Upon arriving upstairs, most of us went out on the patio, where we were greeted with the most beautiful view.

That’s me with my roomie, Raya.

The tastes:

479 Popcorn.

Lots of unique flavors. I liked mixing them together.

Frog Hollow Farm pears and cheese.

I’m pretty excited about the swag I swung from them. 🙂

Wine, of course. I can’t remember where this one was from, though…

Alexia Fries. I am obsessed with the Waffle Cut Russet Potato Parmesan Lemon fries. They’re not on the market yet. They need to be.

Some shrimp thing… which I actually didn’t try. I just liked the picture.

Three Twins ice cream. I tried the Mint Confetti. Mouth-watering.

Julie was one of the Nature’s Pride Ambassadors and made these insanely good Blueberry Stuffed French Toast Bowls.

Gina was also a Nature’s Pride Ambassador, but I never got to try her Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Too bad, as I would have liked to!

Chanterelle Mushroom Soup from Americano Restaurant & Bar. Amazing.

Two of my favorite tastes of the weekend were beers from Bison Brewing: the Honey Basil Ale and the Organic Chocolate Stout.

Meghann and I enjoyed the Chocolate Stout together. 🙂

More cupcakes from Mission Minis.

Jam from Inna. I think it was Raspberry. I remember liking this, but I was getting pretty full at this point.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread… a surprising and wonderful combination of flavors! I loved the shortbread. I want to try making this on my own. Sadly, I don’t entirely remember where this one was from… (probably because of all the beers and wines I’d tasted at this point).

Another one of my favorites: Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. I tried each of the different chocolates, ranging, if I’m remembering correctly, from 62% cacao to 82% cacao. I’m hardcore, so I liked the higher percentages of cacao best. 😉

I also tried one with cacao nibs, which strangely tasted like banana?

I also tried this delicious Pear Vanilla Jam (the lighter jam, below) from Napa Farmhouse 1885. You could actually see the specks of vanilla in there. I would totally buy this jam.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie from Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes, one of the featured Moovision bloggers. I only had a tiny bite… I couldn’t fit much more in my stomach at this point!

I did, however, manage to find room for a Ghiradelli s’more. I can always find room for s’mores.

At some point, it became necessary to take a break and get some fresh air. While doing so, I finally got to meet Lynn of The Actor’s Diet! She was so sweet, which is great because she’s a fellow LA blogger and I plan on seeing a lot more of her. 🙂

Okay. I saved the best for last here.

Annie the Baker‘s cookies. “For those who love cookie dough more than the cookie.” For the record, I fit into that category.

And, for the record, these are the best cookies I think I have ever had.

Ever.

I wish I had taken pictures of my cookies, but I was actually too full to eat them at the festival and wanted to fully enjoy them, so I saved them and ended up eating them sans camera.

I tried all four: Semisweet Chocolate Chunk, Cocoa Loco, Peanut Butter Extreme! and Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip. It’s hard to choose a favorite because they were all so amazing, but I think it might be a tie between Peanut Butter Extreme! and Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip.

Hmmm… I think I might need another taste test to figure it out. I also think I’m going to need to try all of the flavors that weren’t at the pavilion.

You know, for scientific purposes. Purely scientific.

Buy some for yourself (or for me). They’re worth it.

Though I loved everything at the festival, I think it would be safe to say this was my favorite event.

Next up, in installment #5 (sheesh): the gala dinner!

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Foodbuzz Festival: Saturday Morning

Saturday morning started early.

Annelies from Attune Foods is a San Francisco resident and offered to take a bunch of us on a walking tour of the city. The walk began at 7 am and, undaunted by the early hour, we started with a pretty massive hill.

We walked to the Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill, which is famous for its Ghiberti doors and its labyrinths.

One of the labyrinths is outside of the cathedral. Naturally, as bloggers, we immediately thought to pose with it. And naturally, as a blogger, I climbed a little bit to get the best angle for the picture. 🙂

We walked throughout the streets and took in many sights as it got brighter.

One of the best parts of the tour was when Annelies introduced us to a hole-in-the-wall focaccia bakery with “the best focaccia” (either in San Francisco or in the world… I don’t remember which she said).

Either way, it was fantastic.

We sampled the raisin, rosemary and jalepenos cheese focaccias.

The rosemary focaccia went unpictured, but it was hands down my favorite.

We also ventured to Chinatown, which I thought brought some of the best sights.

Eventually, we headed back to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel (the host hotel of the Foodbuzz Festival), where we checked in for our Breakout Sessions, which were food blogging workshops.

First up for me was “It’s a Snap: Hands-On Photography Workshop.”

It was held by Laura from The Cooking Photographer and Marc from No Recipes. They were not only informative and helpful, but they were also pretty funny.

At the end of the workshop, we were all given free reign of various photography stations at which to practice what we had just learned.

Next up was “Great Catch!” which was a live demo of a meal of fish tacos, hosted by Alaska Seafood and led by Chef Mary Sue Milliken from Border Grill and Two Hot Tamales.

I just thought you might want to see that massive fish.

I also thought you might want to see what most bloggers look like most of the time: with their cameras practically attached to their faces. 😉

Finally, I attended “Food Blogging Guide to Success (Whatever That Is!),” which was moderated by Ryan Stern, the Foodbuzz Vice President of Publishing & Community, and led by Tina of Carrots ‘N Cake (who, as you know, is a favorite of mine), Da of Kitchen Corners, and Steph of Lick My Spoon.

(In the picture, go from right to left to put the faces to the names).

The best part about this session was that each of the bloggers was so different from the other and therefore, the panel offered a variety of perspectives.

Next up in installment #4 of the Foodbuzz Festival: The Tasting Pavilion!

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Foodbuzz Festival: Friday Night Food Fare

Friday night brought the first official event of the Foodbuzz Festival: the Food Fare (yes, spelled that way).

It was held at the Herbst Pavilion on the water, and we were lucky enough to arrive just at sunset.

Here, in a (sadly) blurry picture, are my three lovely roommates: Raya, Heather and Laura.

It was so exciting to have everything officially begin. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people – and, let’s be honest, by some of my blogging idols – was surreal.

In this scenario, I was anything but alone in my need to whip my camera out every other second.

Armed with my (already fading) nametag…

…and the first of many glasses of wine…

… I entered the pavilion for the food fare.

Almost immediately, I happened upon two of my very best blogging friends, Amanda and Andy from Two Boos Who Eat!

Love those two. Love.

One of the first things we were greeted with was a massive cupcake display spelling “Foodbuzz.”

Cool, right?

Turns out the display was not just for eating, but was also to be used later for a Food Network pilot! Lots of TV equipment and crew were around.

Given that I’m from LA and a part of the film/ TV business, I was less excited about this than everyone else… but, still, it was cool and it would be fun to see so many people I know on the show, should the pilot ever make it to the air.

What I was very excited about was all of the food!

You know. Obviously.

The event started with everyone seated so that we could begin our gift exchange.

I brought local LA honey and a honey dipper. I was actually supposed to bring more, but the rest broke in my suitcase. 😦

I lucked out with an awesome gift of fruit butters and jams from Ashlee and Lewis from Ash and Lew Plus 2.

They were so sweet and fun! I had a blast meeting them.

At the table, we were able to snack on fruit, cheese and bread plates.

I snacked on a little bit, but I saved room, as I was getting pretty psyched for all of the amazing food around us!

Soon enough, it was time to eat!

And eat, we did.

A shot of me from Kimmie (who thought this was very funny and blogger-appropriate… as did I):

Ah, the life of a food blogger.

This is the shot I was getting:

That was a take on gumbo (with octopus in it!).  It was surprisingly good (for a foodie, I’m a wimp).

Below are tacos from tacolicious.

I actually tried three: the beef, the carnitas, and the vegetarian. While I (surprisingly) enjoyed the beef the most (yum!), the vegetarian was the most interesting. It had cactus in it!

So cool. The second totally new thing of the night for me.

I also tried pizza from Pizza Politana, which was delicious…

…beers from The Thirsty Bear (below is a Vanilla ale!)…

… ice cream from Straus Family Creamery (Caramel Toffee Crunch and Brown Sugar Banana… YUM)…

…and, of course, cupcakes from Mission Minis. Flavors: Pumpkin, Vanilla, and Spice.

Obviously, the pumpkin spoke to me. 😉 I did, however (of course), try all three.

It was a long but amazing night of lots and lots of eating and drinking.

Back later with installment #3!

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Foodbuzz Festival: Friday Morning

The only way to do justice to the Foodbuzz Festival is to do it in installments. Here is the first.

I flew into San Francisco late on Thursday night and waited at the airport for a little while until the first I’d meet of my roommates, Raya from Raya Runs, arrived. Sleepy but excited, we took the BART (San Francisco public transportation) to our hotel.

There, our other two roommates, Heather from With s Side of Sneakers and Laura from Backstage Pass to Health and Happiness, were already sleeping.

We woke up bright and early the next morning, however, and hiked up the hill for the first time to find breakfast.

Attracted mostly to the name, we decided to grab breakfast at the Cable Car Cafe.

Wanting to keep it simple but start with some filling protein, I got an egg and cheese sandwich on wheat bread.

Soon after, it was time for an informal photography workshop generously held by Ashley from The Edible Perspective.

It was too chilly and windy to have the workshop outside as planned, so we went into the nearby Borders. We started, appropriately enough for Mama Pea, in the children’s section.

Eventually, a Borders employee (nicely) asked us to move to a more appropriate section of the store: a meeting area upstairs.

Ashley taught us a ton, but the biggest lessons I learned had to do with camera settings. I ended up playing a lot with my camera over the weekend… I apologize, as I’m still learning and I may have ruined a few pictures as I toyed around. In good news, however, you can always head over to Ashley’s blog to see some epically beautiful photography for any of the events I didn’t manage to capture well. The gala dinner on Saturday night (coming soon) comes to mind.

Examples of playing with my camera settings:

The differences are amazing, right? I eventually settled on the final setting, ending up with this:

You can see some pictures of the group at this event here at The Edible Perspective.

After the workshop, many of us trekked a few miles to get some lunch.

Above, you can see Heather, Allie from Live Laugh Eat, and Gabriela from Une Vie Saine.

We ended up at Cafe Gratitude, a vegan and (mostly) raw cafe/ restaurant.

Above: Janetha from Meals and Moves and Ashley, two of the nicest girls I’ve ever met.

We got seated at a very big table and debated what to eat…

I drank a lot of water.

Not wanting to eat totally raw (it hurts my tummy a little), I settled in on a grain bowl. I got the “I am Graceful.”

It was really good.

Even though it’s blurry, I wanted to post this picture because it has some of my favorite bloggers. There I am with Heather, Allie and Emily from The Front Burner.

The whole gang:

From left to right: Heather, Allie, Emily, Jackie, Mara from I Made Dinner, Sarah, Ashley, Gabriella, Janetha and Stepfanie from SparkPeople.

Whew! Back later with installment #2.

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