2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival Recap

by Joel on December 2, 2010

What an amazing weekend.  The good people at Foodbuzz have outdone themselves this year with the 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival.  From start to finish, this was a truly amazing time spent with hundreds of fellow food bloggers mostly doing what we do best:  Eating.

While I was unable to participate in all of the festivities, I was fortunate enough to attend the opening Welcome Dinner and Street Food Fare, as well as the Gala Dinner and Farewell Brunch.  It was a bummer to miss the blogger breakout sessions and food pavilions, but alas I had responsibilities that kept me away.  Of course, nothing could possibly top the amazing Gala Dinner held at the Ferry Building; a celebration of food and drink that will be tough to forget.

Foodbuzz mission mini cupcakes

"Foodbuzz" spelled out in Mission Mini Cupcakes

Foodbuzz Welcome Dinner
A Few New Friends

I had a chance to meet some wonderful new friends this year.  Foodbuzz decided to mix it up this go around, and assign each of us tables and asked each blogger to bring a gift to exchange with someone.  Many people brought chocolates or sweets from their favorite hometown spot; others brought home made jams or preserves to share.  I was the lucky recipient of  jars of home made strawberry jam and ollaliberry jam from Monterey. It was great getting to sit and chat with new people from all over the country, and share the things we brought, where they came from and why we brought them.

Roli Roti Porchetta

The Amazing Roli Roti Porchetta

And then, of course, there was the eating.  Oh, the eating.  So much food, such a tiny stomach.  Many of the favorite local vendors from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Markets came to feed us, including Tacolicious, Namu, and everyone’s favorite, Roli Roti.  Always the showoffs, Roli Roti came packing with their porchetta sandwich, a sinister combination of meat, bread, juices and greens that people line up for, sometimes 50 deep, every single Saturday.  The secret is that they rub the bread on the porchetta while they are cutting it, so those lovely juices absorb into the spongy roll and take on even more meaty flavor.  It is, in a word, genius.

Porchetta Sandwich from Roli Roti

The Porchetta Sandwich From Roli Roti

Not to be out done, Ryan Farr and the diabolical masterminds at 4505 Meats came along for the ride and very possibly outshined the porchetta sandwich of Roli Roti.  Farr, a jedi of all things meat, created a spicy breaded pork sandwich topped with pickled green beans, and served of course with their chicarrones.  It pains me to say this, but the sandwich from 4505 Meats was my favorite bite of the evening, topping even the Roli Roti porchetta.

Breaded Pork Sandwich from 4505 Meats

Breaded Pork Sandwich from 4505 Moeats

The rest of the night is a blur of more food and wine.  I think there was even a surprisingly delicious beer in there, somewhere.  There was seaweed tacos from Namu, ice cream from Strauss Creamery, and tiny little mini cupcakes from Mission Minis that at one point were arranged to say “Foodbuzz”.  An exceptional evening all around, and it was only going to get better as the weekend wore on.

Foodbuzz Fest 2010

Foodbuzz Street Food Fare

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t able to get to any of the sessions on blogging, photography or video blogging offered that Saturday morning.  But as my time away from the festival wrapped up, my appetite was growing for what I knew would be an incredible dinner that evening at the Ferry Building.

Wine Glasses

We gathered in the arcade in front of the Ferry Building to enjoy hors d’ouvres and sip amazing Bonny Doon wine as we chatted and snapped pictures.  Eventually, we were herded upstairs into the elegantly arranged dining area with the beautiful vaulted ceilings above and the Ferry Building promenade below.  A room full of carefully set tables awaited us as we milled around, chatting more, taking more pictures, and looked for a good seat.

Foodbuzz Gala Dinner

Gala Dinner At The Ferry Building

Foodbuzz Blogger Fest Gala Dinner

Gala Dinner In The Ferry Building

As we settled in, more wine was poured as the lovely people at Foodbuzz talked about the banner year in food blogging, and awarded some of the best of our craft  for their amazing work.  On the tables in front of us was the menu for the evening, and with mouths watering we all eagerly awaiting the first course.

Foodbuzz Gala Dinner Wine Glasses

Gala Dinner Table

The first course was a Roasted Golden Beet Tart with wild arugula and basil puree.  The tart was soft and light, and was a great match against the peppery arugula.  As we sat fussing over our introduction to the meal, the folks at my table continued to get to know each other.  The tart disappeared too quickly, but we knew we had plenty more to come.

Roasted Golden Beet Tart

Roasted Golden Beet Tart

Next up was the seared scallops with verjus beurre blanc served with braised fennel.  This was an exciting dish.  The scallops were perfect, cooked just right and tasting freshly of the sea.  I loved every bite, and sopped up the beurre blanc with bread.

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops with Verjus Beurre Blanc

The center piece of the meal, of course, was the lamb.  At this point, after several glasses of wine and a couple of incredible courses already down, some were worried that this lamb might overdo it.  But there was no way I would leave anything left of a rosemary and garlic infused rack of lamb served with wild mushrooms, pinot noir sauce, and butternut squash puree.

The lamb was fantastic; rich and deeply flavorful, it’s juices mingling with the pinot noir sauce.  The butternut squash puree sent it over the top.  Just an amazing dish and a perfect main course for this meal.

Foodbuzz Blogger Festival Gala Dinner

Rosemary & Garlic Rack of Lamb

And what would a Gala Dinner be without a dessert?  While I am certainly not a sweet tooth, this dessert took me by surprise.  A buttery almond cake with oranges and a spanish sherry sabayon was a wonderful way to wrap up the meal.  Not extra sweet, a little tart, and what’s that?  Yes, that little decorative crisp leaning over the top there is in fact parmesean cheese.  Salty, sweet, a little tart.  Perfect.

Foodbuzz Gala Dinner Desert

Tarta de Almendras with Oranges

Even though I didn’t get to attend all of the events and tag along with the rest of my little foodie friends, I still had a wonderful time.  Those crazy kids at Foodbuzz sure know how to throw a party.

It was a real pleasure getting to meet so many new people from so far away, and some from my own back yard.  Unfortunately, we can only get together once a year.  But it gives us all something to look forward to.

Cheers to everyone at Foodbuzz for putting on such a spectaular event.  You all should be proud!

A fitting end to the Foodbuzz Blogger Fest

Clean plate, full belly

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mandy February 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

Looks like it was a lot of fun!

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