So are you tired of reading about the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival yet? I can’t believe it’s over already and I’m back at home trying to prepare for another crazy work week! Ick, my mini-vacation in San Francisco flew by way too fast. Anyway, our hotel was very old school. It was nice, everything was renovated and in good shape, but still rocked the old-timey style.
Why do I feel like I’m staying at the Overlook?
The walls feel like they’re caving in on me!
It was kind of fun staying in an older, historical hotel because we usually go for the new modern ones. The bummer was the wired internet was out in ours, normally it’d be free, but I had to pay for a wireless connection instead. One of the many hidden costs that caught us by surprise at the Westin, like $12 to use the gym … each time. Oh well, still a great time.
On Saturday, I strutted over to the Sir Francis Drake for the three breakout sessions starting at 9 AM and my first one was Food Porn 101, a mini food photography class.
I toted my cute, little point-and-shoot Canon digital camera while many brought in huge digital SLRs and accessory bags. Good thing our instructor mentioned first thing that fancy camera’s aren’t required for good food pics. Then he spoke for about 30 minutes on knowing your camera and if it can do things like adjust exposure, take raw photos, supports macro, etc. Through many slides, we learned about making boring and ugly food pop with bright color-ware, lighting, textures and action. I got a lot of great info from this session. But the last half was designated for students to practice taking pics at various demo food displays set up around the room with various lighting challenges. Trying to get to each session was frustrating because so many SLR users were, well, hogging them taking minutes to adjust lenses, angles and a bazillion settings taking many shots of each station. I couldn’t even push my way through and after 15 minutes of trying, I left the session early to chill in the lounge until the next session, which was a Fresh Express class taught by Chef Todd Fisher to demo a roasted squash salad recipe.
It was cruelty for him to prepare this amazing smelling salad, but not making enough for the class to sample! :-) Truthfully, I rarely purchase pre-made salad mixes and didn’t feel the need to after this class.
The final session was a blogging panel on blogging success and by far the most informative for me.
The panel consisted of Ryan from Foodbuzz, Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake, Damaris from Kitchen Corners and Stephanie from Lick My Spoon. The ladies all offered wonderful information on what drives them to blog, how they define success, how they choose content and how they motivate themselves through blogging burnout. Lots of great info that went into overtime.
I didn’t have much time to get to the tasting pavilion, so I dashed back to our hotel, grabbed hubby and we headed a few blocks over to the Metreon for a crazy lunch of sampling.
Too bad there were no cable car routes to the Metreon!
The taste pavilion was packed!
Sweet potato fries – yum!
Caribbean seasoned fries – also great.
Spicy sweet potato fries, I could have had a few plates of these!
Meat marinade samples.
Watermelon beer was a new experience for me.
Mmmm, beer in a wine glass – that’s class!
The lemon was balsamic were my faves of these flavored olive oils.
I snacked on a lot of figs, nuts and dried fruits from this table.
The epic mushroom soup everyone was tweeting about and it was pretty amazing.
I wonder if the staff got tired of stopping and posing for food pics every 2 seconds.
Nature’s Path did a lot of recipe demonstrations producing many tasty samples.
I pretty much enjoyed every flavor of this popcorn multiple times.
Amazing salt samples, the smoked was my favorite from Mendocino Sea Salts.
I think the many wine and beer samples were kicking in here.
The pavilion was on the 4th floor of the Metreon with an amazing view from the patio, the weather was perfect in the city yesterday.
LOL, the hurricane experience tube outside an arcade in the Metreon, I can pay to feel like I live in Florida again. :-P
After two hours and too much sampling, we headed back to our hotel making a detour into the mall on the way there. And promptly got lost in the many crazy levels of it!
I really wish our mall had this in the food court, I’d each lunch there regularly!
I didn’t buy anything, but enjoyed looking at all the crazy shops and shocking price tags. We crashed at our hotel for a couple of hours before I had to run out for the festival dinner at the Ferry building. But that’s another, picture-intensive post! :-)