1. You will never regret a new food experience. Friday, before the Festival officially began, I joined a group of food bloggers for lunch at Cafe Gratitude, a restaurant known for their raw and vegan dishes. I'd never been to such a restaurant, but everything on the menu sounded drool-worthy. Though I didn't know everything I was eating on my salad or the sampler platter we tried, not to mention in the raw coconut cream pie, I dove in and loved it all!
2. My photography skills need practice, and my camera needs a new lens! (hint, hint, Ryan ;)) I had the opportunity to attend a pre-festival photo tutorial session led by Ashley and then another during the Foodbuzz sessions on Saturday morning. I've had my camera since Christmas, and while my pictures have improved, I have a long way to go. Taking pictures of the food set-ups in the photography seminar reminded me of this, and I'm now newly motivated to keep learning!
Mission Mini Cupcakes is onto something, both as a business model and its product. Selling $1 mini cupcakes amongst a sea of giant expensive cupcakes is brilliant. So is using the freshest ingredients possible (pumpkin! carrot! coconut!). I greatly enjoyed my fair share of cupcakes, at Friday's Street Food Fair and Saturday's Tasting Pavilion.
Tina for making me feel like less of a nobody blogger, Melissa for being as awesome as I pictured, and Bobbi & Emily for feeling like long-lost friends!
6. Food demos are fun, especially when you're working with Electrolux! I'm a disaster in the kitchen...I spill, I forget ingredients, and Ryan flinches whenever I pick up a knife. However, Chef Joey put me right at ease and once I stepped on the stage, all nervousness vanished. I had so much fun sharing my recipe and getting feedback from other bloggers. Thanks again Electrolux for the opportunity, and for sponsoring my trip!
(here we are at the flip book station, taking a break from eating and dancing away!)
9. Any table with this many glasses guarantees a fabulous meal (see below)! Our gala dinner at the Ferry Building on Saturday night was indescribable. Four courses paired with a different wine for each. Fresh ingredients, including beets, fennel, and wild mushrooms. I was in heaven!
10. Foodbuzz knows how to throw a party. From the Friday night reception to the Sunday morning breakfast, we were wined, dined, and fed some more. They hooked us up with huge swag bags, stuffed with free samples & kitchen supplies, and organized a weekend chock full of some of the best foods in San Francisco. It was an unforgettable weekend, and one I'm so glad I got to experience!
In other news, remember my butternut squash ice cream? Contest voting is open...check out the entries here and if you think mine deserves a win, please vote for me!
Also, one of the bloggers I met this weekend (Steph) has started a new site called Foodiacs and they're having a 12 days of Christmas giveaway. All you have to do is enter your name and email here, and you're automatically entered to win a gift on one of the 12 days after Christmas! There's some great stuff up for grabs, I'm crossing my fingers for a win!
One Year Ago: Cilantro Lime Hummus