Thursday, October 16, 2008

CUESA Sixth Annual Sunday Supper Reception Visited...

A few weeks ago on Sunday, October 5th, The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) held its 6th annual Sunday Supper which showcased the abundance of delicious produce offered at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and the supreme culinary talent of the San Francisco Bay Area.

There are two parts to this culinary event, the Reception and the Sunday Supper which followed immediately afterwards upstairs in the Ferry Building Grand Hall. The Reception took place in the Ferry Building Marketplace Halls as people bustled about tasting hors d'oeuvres from 22 top Bay Area chefs and sipped wine from four local wineries. Guests were also able to imbibe in Farmer's Market specialty cocktails from Hangar One and Square One vodkas as well as organic beer from Bison Brewing Company. SF Food Maven only attended the Reception, but that in itself was plentiful enough to feed an entire family and then some.
Here is the Breakdown of SF Food Maven Notable & Mentionables...

The first Hors D'Oeuvre encounter was a deliciously sweet, K&J Orchard Pear paired beautifully with a salty Lonza, a cured & dried Pork Loin similar to Prosciutto by Boccalone, a Salumeria founded by the Offal King, Chris Cosentino of Incanto. Next, we had the creamy Farm Egg Salad with Tomatoes from Dirty Girl Produce (love the name by the way..) by Phil West of Range. A delicious beginning...

Daniel Patterson of Coi provided a veritable Heirloom Vegetable Crudite by Heirloom Organics, pictured below, that was beautiful in its simplicity and essentially spoke for itself visually.

Thom Fox, Acme Chophouse, provided beautifully tender, savory Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Potatoes from Little Organic Farm, that was deliciously hearty and filling.
I was excited to be able to chat with Stuart Brioza, of the now shuttered, iconic San Francisco restaurant, Rubicon, who recently got back from his honeymoon. His Dish was a Warm Sweetbread and Beef Tongue Terrine that encompassed a Horseradish Cream concoction atop something crispy that escapes me at the moment, but whatever it was, it provided a textural contrast that just made the Dish...

I'm gonna have to stop the presses now to tell you about the next two SF Food Maven Notables Edibles... Because they were just to die for...

Fungi Frites: Fried Mushrooms with Lemon Aioli and Smoked Salt by Daniel Capra of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering were really great! They were so yummy, that I had to have another serving. They were so popular that they even ran out early, but the memory of them are still there...
The definite favorite of the evening were the Mini Polenta Cakes with Goat Chile Verde and Pumpkin Seed Pesto by Patrick Clark, Cia Greystone. Delicious! at the end of the evening after making the rounds to all of the stands, nothing topped this Dish and I quickly ran back for more. I must've had at least 6 or 7 more servings they were so yummy. Anyone want to join me in a visit up to the wine country?

Edible Mentionables...

The Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Spring Roll by Yasu Iwahata of Delica rf-1 was tasty and fresh. And the Figs Stuffed With Chevre and Roasted Almonds Annie Somerville of Greens Restaurant was a yummy combination of sweet Fig contrasted by the tart creaminess of the Chevre and the crunchy texture of the Roasted Almonds were both worth mentioning.

The event also held a Year of Dining out Raffle, auctioning four chances to win a collection of 12 dinners for two from the participating restaurants.
Immediately following the Reception, the Sunday Supper hosted Chefs from 30 restaurants who collaborated in teams of three to provide a unique first course, entree, cheese course and dessert for each long table of guests. Food Lovers were delighted by a different meal than their neighboring table.
All in all, it was another fun Food & Wine event for a good cause, in which I got to bump elbows with Bay Area greats such as Stuart Brioza of the former Rubicon, and Elizabeth Faulkner of Citizen Cake & Orson. An event in which over fifty of the Bay Area’s most celebrated chefs, all dedicated to promoting sustainable, seasonal and local dining, stepped up to cook for the reception and this memorable four course feast.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Food Affaire Visited...

Ok, I knew this event was going to be quite the 'Affaire', but I have to say that I was blown away!
It was a spectacular event, to say the least and I cannot wait to share the experience here with you..
As mentioned in a previous post, the Food Affaire is a Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) annual event. The event was formerly the Toast of the Town, but this year the GGRA went for a edgier, sexier, more sensual vibe and it worked. It was a huge success and as promised, it showcased all-star chefs, indulgent aphrodisiac-inspired cuisine and sensual entertainment.

So sit back, read on and enjoy the, dare I say? 'Food Erotica'...
Upon entering the plush Ruby Skye nightclub, one is greeted by a feather dusting by sassy, flirtatious servers in burlesque, serving up SKYY X-Rated cocktails to kick off the evening. Once rounding the corner to enter the main room, all of your senses are stimulated by the sounds of sexy beats, seductive performers center stage and chefs serving up sexy, aphrodisiac inspired cuisine.


This event was all of these and more. A true seduction of all of your senses...

Dan Scherotter of Kuleto stood before an enormous phallic-shaped zucchini that was erotically pierced with toothpicks of house-cured sardines wrapped around beets. Beretta served up a rich, creamy Truffle Fondue that was to die for. One of my favorite chefs, Bruce Hill & Colin Dewey of Bix provided a beautiful Garden of Eatin' that was filled with pristine organic produce such as Strawberries, Beets, Avocados and ambrosial K&J Farms Panache figs. Each of these lush 'lilies' was gilded with a drizzle of ultra rich, perfectly sweet Cavedoni Balsamico. Perfecto! Jack Falstaff had a mouthwatering Shrimp paired with creamy Avocado and wonderfully fresh Watermelon topped with Cilantro whose flavors were surprisingly sensuous. Ducca served a rich Yellowtail Crudo literally 'swimming' in Champagne Spuma, Parsnip Cream and Osetra Caviar which was a combination that I found ironically delicious. Joey Altman of Bay Cafe and the newly opened Miss Pearl's Jam house in Oakland provided a creamy Rice Pudding with Berries and Cream.

As is typical, some of the sumptuous fare stood out more than others. Because I attend so many food & wine events as a food writer, I found myself making note of the favorite dishes that stood out, let's call them SF Food Maven 'Notable Edibles', and as the end of the event draws near, I go back for seconds and sometimes even thirds. Well, this time around, the following four Notable Edibles made for a perfect 4-Course Meal. So I found myself, weaving my way back for these Dishes in this exact order...

The Appetizer
Palencia's Dish was a Kilawin na Puso ng Saging, literally Sauteed Banana Heart, which is a Filipino Dish prepared with Banana Blossom sauteed in Sugarcane Vinegar and Thai Red Chilis. Palencia's chef, Drew Roxas prepared it with a Coconut Shrimp Sauce and fried Philippine Saba Banana. This Dish was perfect with just the right amount of kick, some creaminess from the Coconut Suace and a Flavor that lingered just right. It truly opened up the palette for what was next to come...

The Second Course


Emporio Rulli had a Risotto with Beets. Earthy and delicious... You really couldn't go wrong.

The Entree


Poleng Lounge's Tim Luym presented a spicy Balinese Lemongrass Satay Sampi that was phallic and packed a heat that was all of the above things and a big hit for many, if the constant crowds were anything to go by...

The Dessert
And Decadent all at once...
Perbacco's Fig Leaf Panna Cotta topped with Olive Oil, Cocoa Crumble and Red Wine Figs Dessert was so good that it put the 'Happy' in my Ending. I loved it.

Halfway through the evening, exotic, cirque de soliel-esque dancers performed sensual aerial routines, that had to be seen to be believed.

All in all, it most certainly was an all-encompassing, heady sensory experience featuring sensual entertainment and aphrodisiac-inspired cuisine created by San Francisco's leading chefs that went straight to my head, amongst other things...
A true Epicurean experience that stimulated all of your senses...

All proceeds raised from A Food Affaire will benefit the GGRA’s Scholarship Foundation, which provides talented students with scholarships to help fund their tuition towards careers in restaurants and hospitality. A most worthy cause, if you ask me.
Special thanks to Donnalyn Murphy, the Director of Educational Services for allowing yours truly to attend the event!

Take it from me, come next year, this event is not to be missed! This by far, was one of my favorite food & wine events of the year. And I will be sure to let you know once it comes around again... Perhaps, next time you will join me.

All Photos courtesy of SF Food Maven with the exception of #7 & 14, which came from

Monday, October 6, 2008

SF Magazine's Fallfest This Saturday

San Francisco Magazine’s FallFest
this Saturday, October 11 from 12noon to 4pm.
San Francisco magazine’s celebrates the arrival of fall with their fifth annual epicurean event, which supports one of the City’s most respected nonprofit organizations—Meals On Wheels of San Francisco and is hosted by San Francisco magazine Food Editor Jan Newberry and Miss Pearl’s Jam House consulting chef and Bay CafĂ© host Joey Altman.  Leading local restaurateurs, winemakers and artisans join together for an inspiring day of premier food and wine tasting, chef demonstrations, live music and panel discussions that celebrate eating and living local.  It all takes place outdoors at Justin Herman Plaza, which is transformed for the day into a European-style marketplace, taking full advantage of the season’s gorgeous weather and the waterfront’s beautiful views.

FallFest 2008 will focus on the “Eat Local” initiative and ask participants to showcase items that use ingredients grown or produced within three hours of their final destination.

WHO 1,500 food and wine enthusiasts
WHAT San Francisco magazine’s Fallfest 2008
WHEN Saturday, October 11, noon to 4 p.m. (rain or shine)
WHERE Justin Herman Plaza, Embarcadero Center
San Francisco’s Waterfront District
WHY Proceeds benefit Meals On Wheels of San Francisco

HOW Get tickets now!   Click here.
Pay only $85 with the OpenTable discount!

Just use the dicount code: OPNTBLFF
PLEASE NOTE: Offer good until October 8.
If you are unable to attend, you can purchase raffle tickets or donate to the cause.
Visa Signature® cardholders receive special savings and benefits.

Celebrate fall with the food and wine event of the season!