This is the fourth and final post from my truly amazing trip to San Francisco for the FoodBuzz Festival this past weekend. I really could do significantly more posts than four, but I'm thinking you are all kind of sick of reading about the same events all over the food blogosphere!
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***WARNING PHOTO HEAVY POST AHEAD!***
****HOPE YOU'RE HUNGRY!****
I left you all hanging with an OH SO SUSPENSEFUL teaser about the next day… I kid, I kid. After heading to bed completely cached, the roommates and I made a leisurely start to the day. (two with a run, two with longer sleep and coffee… I'll let you guess what I did.) We had misread the time that the workshops for the conference part of the Festival began, and found ourselves unintentionally running late.
After a little discussion, a few texted and tweeted apologies (I still feel bad Jess & Sarah!) we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and walk the mile-and-a-half down to the Ferry Building farmer's market for breakfast and shopping! It was so nice to walk with friends, chat about the various and sundry things happening in our lives, and eventually, come up to the most gorgeous farmer's market I think I've ever seen. I'll let the photos speak for themselves (for the most part.)
It was right after we saw the lavender that I realized something. I was getting to that point where I was so hungry that I was about to eat one of the roomies. I told Melissa this, and we were then on a mission: Operation Find Mara Food.
Success was not long after this mission began as we found a Mexican breakfast stand that had one of my all-time favorite breakfasts: chilaquiles.
I've had a lot of chilaquiles in my day. They were my dad's favorite at the local vegetarian place when I was younger, and I'd make them all the time in college. They're tortilla chips and eggs and beans all cooked or plated together with a hot sauce, sour cream, avocado, and cheese. These were unreal, really. Thanks to Jennifer at East West Pastry for tweeting about them…they hit the spot!
A photo shoot ensued…
me and Diana
And, as if we hadn't walked enough already, we walked around some more! The market was simply so beautiful, and there were samples everywhere, so I really didn't notice that my feet were aching!
The in-season and local fruits in California never cease to amaze me. There is NEVER a time here in Illinois where pomegranates are in season, nor do I ever see persimmons at the same time as strawberries and raspberries. I was in awe of all the color that pervaded and aroma that surrounded the market.
Bobbi had never tried a persimmon before, and I captured her trying her first one!
Next, after meeting up with Danielle, we walked another 1.5 miles to the FoodBuzz Tasting Pavillion! I have to be honest, I didn't really photograph much of the food. They were bites and tastes of some delicious products, some of which you'll see on the blog soon. But, the highlight was when Tyler Florence walked in to sign copies of his cookbook! I was lucky enough to meet him and score a copy!
Yeah, he's still pretty.
I liked meeting the purveyors of the smaller local companies, and with some room left in our bellies, Melissa, Diana and I hopped a cab down to the Mission neighborhood to visit the famous Tartine bakery.
There was a line out the door and the smell was intoxicating. Fresh bread baking, coffee brewing, and butter filled the air, and I felt like a little kid with my nose pressed against the glass of the exquisite pastry case.
I had my eye on the prize though: croissants and gougére.
Diana and I decided to share a small coconut cream pie as well, not knowing exactly how full we'd be when we arrived back at the hotel.
I gingerly unwrapped the gougere and cracked into it, and was thrilled to see that it was completely hollow, as a gougere should be. I shared it with Diana, and then felt like a kid on
Christmas Hanukkah morning. The smell of butter was overwhelming, and the croissant crackled as I picked it up out of its bag.
When I cracked it open, layer upon layer of flaky pastry. South Beach Diet be damned, I was going to eat this croissant and I was going to enjoy it.
Then, stuffed to the gills, I got dressed for the FoodBuzz Festival Gala Dinner. I went through four dresses at home before I settled on this one, which can, in fact, be worn 10 different ways!
I got some pictures with some of my favorite bloggers and friends… and didn't feel mortified in front of the camera. I call it progress!
Me & Sarah
Farihah & Me
Me & Krystal
It was right around this time that the 3 miles I'd walked earlier had caught up to me and I had to take my heels off (hence, why I'm shorter in the last picture!) and I was barefoot through dinner.
The meal started and we were treated to a cooking demo by Tyler Florence! Our table had quite a good time tweeting the double entendres that the demo presented. Megan, Emily and I were particularly giggly!
And with that, we all went back to our room, hung out a while and crashed. Brunch the next morning was a blast and I was lucky enough to meet Beth's adorable daughter, Lucy! I wish I'd snapped a picture… she has the best wave and smile!
I boarded the plane home at about 5 p.m. and amazingly, even after landing an hour late and staying up until 2 a.m., managed to make it to work on Monday. The best part of Monday? Bringing my friend a Tartine croissant, and even almost two days later, watching her be amazed by its amazing flavor.
So that was San Francisco. And I want to go back, and I miss my friends that usually live in my computer!
Another huge thank you to my mother-in-law and AJ's legacy for helping to make this trip possible… I'm truly, truly grateful.