Getting back to work today was painful after such an adventure-filled weekend, the extra hour of sleep didn’t help. I’m still marveling at how much fun the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival was and how I wish I was still in San Francisco. My wonderful adventure wrapped up at the Saturday Night Dinner Gala held in the Ferry Building. After such a long day Saturday, I had to find energy to pry myself off our hotel bed, get dressed up and head in. Actually it wasn’t hard, I was totally looking forward to it. :-) About 6:45 PM, I strolled to the front of our hotel contemplating walking the 1.3 miles to the Ferry Building, but saw the waiting cab and hopped in instead. 10 minutes and $9 later, I eagerly joined the blogger crowd standing outside the building enjoying plentiful hors d’ oeuvres and wine. Time flew as we chatted and it seemed like minutes later we were escorted in.
The cavernous dining area was beautifully lit and filled with large round tables for the choosing.
The tables were elegantly set with a lot of wine glasses, candles and a uniquely organic center piece sized perfectly to not block our views for chatting.
I was a bit overwhelmed at all the utensils and glasses at each setting, thankfully the forks and knives where the same size and I didn’t have to dig back to my junior high home ec class to remember proper utensil size pairing with meal courses. :-) The service was phenomenal, I only had to tell one person that I’d like the vegan options and never had to remind anyone for the rest of the evening. And the beverage services were amazing, my water glass was constantly being topped off and the wine kept coming on schedule before the course it was paired with arrived. Perfect.
The first course was a beet salad beautifully arranged with baby greens, pesto and bread. Simple, gorgeous and not overly filling before the next course. The non-vegan option was a beet tart that looked equally fabulous.
The second course was citrus marinated tofu over marinated veggies and it was fabulous paired with a 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc. This dish was the vegan alternative to the scallops and a worthy one with a firm texture and rich flavor throughout the patties.
For the main course, I got this beautiful mushroom stack with butternut squash puree. The mushroom textures reminded me of calamari in a good way with fantastic fresh herb flavors all the way through. It was so good, but a bit too much, I couldn’t finish it!
It tried, but I had to save room for dessert and the vegan dessert was so worth it! Marinated pear with berry sorbet, dates, grapes, orange and a bright raspberry sauce. Light, simple and fresh using beautiful ingredients.
I was very impressed with all the vegan options and the all the amazing menu options. Each course was paired with a different wine, I tried 6 different wines that evening.
Mix that with all the beer and wine sampling at the taste pavilion earlier in the day and I’m still not sure how I was able to walk back to our hotel after such a fabulous evening. And we had to walk because taxis were no where to be seen in front of the ferry building at 10:30 PM. Luckily I walked with a large group and the fresh air and exercise felt great after such rich eating.
Overall I was very impressed with the entire evening. The service was amazing, not one detail missed. The company was also amazing, I got lost in many wonderful conversations with new friends. The entire weekend was such a wonderfully unforgettable experience and I’m so grateful I got to be part of it. For my first blogger event, I couldn’t have imagined anything better and will definitely plan to attend the next one better armed to make the most of it. I’m lucky to live so close to San Francisco and didn’t have to take too much time from work to go. If the festival was held somewhere I had to fly to, I’m not sure I would have decided to go even though it would have been totally worth it.
As someone fairly new to blogging, I’m a bit self conscious about how often I post and how good the material is. Okay, very self conscious. But that’s one of the reasons this festival was so valuable to me. Bloggers of all levels attended, from the occasional part-time posters to the hardcore serious ones who’ve managed to turn their site into a career. I didn’t at all feel the need to compare myself to other bloggers, question my post schedule or material quality because the overall message I got from the event was anything goes as long as you’re passionate about the content and enjoying what you’re blogging about. I can’t thank Foodbuzz enough for such a wonderful time, every detail was covered. I had a blast keeping up with other attendees on Twitter while in the city, lots of updates on great places to eat, after hours action and early morning group runs. Really a cool experience.
Sunday morning we packed up our loot and headed home around 10 AM in the pouring rain. And it rained all the way to Sacramento. Considering that, traffic was a breeze, no slow downs going into or exiting the city, very rare and almost like we were meant to go. :-)