After the tasting, The Husband met me for a little walk and we headed back to our room to relax for a bit before the awards dinner. The entire FoodBuzz Blogger Festival has been a blast, but, it was go go go the entire time. We sent The Husband off to play poker and ordered up our TAXI for the night 😀
We got to the Green Leaf Produce Warehouse super fast ~ I really think our Limo driver knew the in’s/outs to avoid traffic. I think we were the 1st to arrive – yeah! As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted with wine!
We wondered around snapping pictures of the warehouse. This warehouse is used each night to package and send off fresh fruits and veggies from the farmers to everyone out in the city ~ LOVE that!
I really wanted to pick my produce from here like you do at the market 🙂
The dinner was hosted by Outstanding in The Field. They set up so the Chefs cook right there in front of you. It was pretty cool to watch them prepare food for over 250 people. It totally reminded me of Dinner Impossible ~ would they complete their mission with success?! 😉 Yes, I am a total Food Network dork ~ is there really any other channel worth watching…..
Fun quotes were posted on every door. One the workers asked me if I liked the signs since I went from door to door snapping like 15 signs ~ I am such a tourist!
The tables wrapped around the entire warehouse in a big circle. Hi Janeeeetha (she’s hiding can’t you tell!!!)
Each worker for Outstanding In Their Field brings a set of plates with them when they join the crew at Outstanding In Their Field. I really thought that was so cool and it added a personal touch as you wondered who brought which ones.
The Menu! The dinner had a korean inspired theme complete with bamboo chopsticks that they let us all keep.
On the back, they listed all the Farmer’s who helped contribute to the nights dinner.
They placed Spicy Shrimp Fries on every table. They were super fun to eat, light and crunchy, but, as soon as you stopped eating them you had that “dried shrimp” taste in your mouth ~ ick.
We didn’t know what to do with ourselves while we waited for the buses to arrive so we all snapped pictures since there wasn’t any food to snap yet 😀
We had a mini cocktail hour and they brought around Double Poached Ahi on crunchy bread croutons. It tasted like a fancy tuna salad cracker. YUM!
After a bunch of fun socializing and MORE wine, we sat down to dinner. They brought out a big plate of Bread N Butter Pickle flavored veggies. I honestly think that everything on this plate was AMAZING.
The beets were my favorite by far and I LOVED the spicy Kim Chi.
Each wine was paired with everything we ate. This was a light 2007 Cigare Blanc ~ the flavor was so light it was almost like a watery wine. I LIKED it, but, I am sure the wine connoisseurs reading this think I am crazy for describing wine as water 😀
SOUP ~ The next course was a Mushroom Dashi Soup. I LOVED this soup ~ it was like the sweet teriyaki broth you get with udon soup and the veggies completely complemented it. I was bummed it was cold since I was looking forward to hot WARM soup as we froze in the back of the warehouse (the temp at 64 degrees naturally!)
SALAD ~ I experienced Calamari in a way I never have before ~ Grilled in a browned butter ponzu (think teriyaki/soy sauce) reduction. I LOVED all the vegetables and the spicy kick that was added with the sesame vinaigrette.
They brought out an Antique FIZZY WATER bottle from the Seltzer Sister’s! I think this makes having fizzy water even more fun!
We also moved onto the Red Wine of the night ~ 2005 Le Cigare Volcant~ I LIKED it ~ whose shocked to see me loving all this wine?! I really did though so maybe my taste buds are finally growing up 😀 lol….
MAIN COURSE #1: Mushroom Risotto ~ The best part of this dish was the Crispy Maitake Mushrooms ~ they had such an earthy and crunchy flavor.
The risotto was served with a Curried Salmon with Fried Garlic. It looks pretty cool but all the flavor was in the skin and the entire fish was raw and cold inside :( I actually LOVED the salmon they selected though – it was so fresh and not fishy at all. I just wished the curry and garlic went through since fish skin scares me.
MAIN COURSE #2 ~ Roasted brussel spouts with more fried garlic and guanciale (fried pig cheeks ~ funky!) I LOVED this dish and honestly need to figure out how to recreate it with REAL bacon. I had 2 servings of this but probably could’ve eaten this entire plate.
The brussel sprouts were served with……ready for this…..Soy Braised Beef Cheeks and Oxtails! You’d be proud, I did try a cheek and it was ok ~ it was super fatty and I am not big on fatty meats. The flavor of the dish was fantastic though and I LOVED the carrots the best.
Ashley LOVED the cheeks! 😀
Dessert was served while they announced the Blogger Awards. Congrats to all those who won ~ there are too many fantastic blogs to list! Dessert was a pear rice pudding that I had a bite of before setting down. It was eh ok, but, not worth it. After the awards we all headed back to the Hotel Vitale for celebratory cocktails.
I had the BEST Chai TEA ever in my life. I really think I want one of these TEA PRESSES. Who knew that they made french presses for tea?! So cool!
The Husband met up with us and ordered a thin crust salami pizza. I stole a slice ~ it was awesome! The crust was a thin as crackers and loaded with crispy flavor.
It was a fun filled dinner and I was so glad to finally sit down to a meal. We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning for a quick workout then packing before heading off to brunch.
Brunch was hosted at Cafe LuLu and sponsored by Nature’s Pride.
I tried a little bit of everything x’s two with OJ and decaf coffee.
I LOADED up the salads since I was seriously missing veggies and fruits ALL weekend. The pear walnut was my favorite sans stinky cheese of course.
The bread croutons in the panzanella were so buttery and sweet….mmmm! Seeing these pics makes me want those two salads all over again!
I LOVE my bloggie friends that stayed with me at the Wyndham. Janetha, Allison, Jasmine, Quinn and Ashley all got together and gave me this cute Thank You card and a HUGE gift card to Trader Joe’s to say thanks for getting them a room. So nice of you all ~ you seriously didn’t have to do that, but, you sure know my true love ~ TRADER JOES!
They also gave me a bottle of Vino ~ yeah for more wine! I may just turn into a wino after this weekend 😉
SWAG!!!!! I picked up al this at the lunchtime tasting!
Plus the fantastic Authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day gave me a FREE cookbook!!!!
With their signature of course!!! Yeah for feeding my recipe collecting addiction! I LOVE their concept of how they prepare a bread starter and use that to make all sorts of breads ~ I NEED to try that!
The FANTASTIC peeps at FOODBUZZ hooked us all up with a HUGE bag of goodies to take home.
Yeahhhhh for more Made In Napa Valley Products!!! The Pear Balsamic Vinegar is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE vinegar – you need nothing else on your salad but this to dress it up.
Sea Salted Dark Chocolate Caramels ~ Need I say more…..they didn’t make it home 😉
As fun as the festival was, I was definitely ready to get back home. We headed out of San Fran a bit early and headed up to Sacramento to watch our nephew play in his peewee playoff football game. We stopped at Starbuck’s on the way and since I didn’t seem to have enough food all weekend, I indulged in pumpkin scone and latte for lunch 😀
Fall colors are everywhere ~ this picture makes me smile looking at all the trees. It’s seriously the little things!
We stopped at Rubio’s on our way home. I stole one of The Husband’s Chicken Taquitos ~ it was the guacamole that got me. Crunchy good!
I ate all of my bean burrito and had a few chips. Surprisingly I didn’t want this chips which never happens to me.
We came home to this ~ I think next time she wants us to take her with us 😀
Dessert! Have you ever seen cute little Toblerone’s? I NEVER have but I LOVE their chocolates. I cannot buy the big bar or I eat the whole thing so these minis are perfect. I wish I could find them 🙂
Thanks again Foodbuzz for hosting such a fun event! I honestly LOVED being able to put so many faces with their blogs and feel like I each and everyone of you is one of my great friends I could call up anytime. I can’t wait for the next event that we can all get together again!
Regular blogging to resume tomorrow along with a CHOBANI GIVEAWAY!!!! Be sure to check back tomorrow for your chance to win an entire case of CHOBANI!!!