This weekend I attended the 3rd annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco, CA. It was a whirlwind adventure and I am so happy to have met many warm, creative and inspiring bloggers. I also enjoyed samples from some wonderful food brands and benefited from excellent programming through the breakout sessions.
I arrived on Friday at noon local time. After a delightful lunch at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, I went to the festival registration and picked up my SWAG bag and credentials. I enlisted the help of a large cappuccino from Bread and Cocoa in order to unpack and organize my belongings and get settled in.
The blogger gift bag was a little heavy on the chocolate, but I’m not complaining.
After organizing my things, I freshened up and headed to the Welcome Dinner at Terra Gallery, where we mingled over Sabra hummus appetizers and Bonny Doon Vineyards wine. I especially enjoyed the light and refreshing albariño. At the main event, we helped ourselves to buffet style dining. There were several Foodbuzz blogger-inspired dishes. My favorite was the beet ravioli, and the lentil salad was a close second.
The desserts were all created by Yigit Pura, winner of Top Chef: Just Desserts season one. My favorite was the mulled wine macaron with spiced blackberry cream.
For the rest of the evening, I chatted with new friends and enjoyed a local brew.
Saturday morning began with a delicious breakfast spread and the beginning of group sessions.
After the Taking Your Blog to the Next Level panel discussion, I was lucky enough to get one of Mama Pea’s dough balls. How sweet was it that she brought gifts for everyone and had dozens of dough balls on her at all times? I think she’s a genius.
I attended two sessions after the panel discussion: The DSLR-Free Zone: Taking Gawk-worthy Photos with Lo-tech Equipment, and Beyond the Written Word: Making the Most of Audio and Video. Warning: there might be another video on the way soon. But hey, don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s my worst nightmare too! I just feel that I have to test what I’ve learned.
After the sessions I took a long walk to the Ferry Building.
The Saturday farmers’ market was packed with people. I tasted some juicy, sweet Frog Hollow Farm pears and bought some jarred jams and chutneys from the farm table. I also found some beautiful persimmons!
After the Ferry Building Marketplace, I took another long walk to the taste pavilion, where I sampled a plethora of goodies from the festival sponsors.
After working the room (of course), I rested
my liver a bit by relaxing at the hotel for an hour or so, and then I got ready for the Gala Dinner, featuring a cooking demo by Tyler Florence.
My favorite comment of the night was T-Flo’s point that these days a blogger can post a recipe or an editorial and get the same amount of attention (in the form of page views, likes, etc.) that a major national publication can, which illustrates that blogging is democracy. I like that notion.
I loved how everywhere I went, people were taking photos of their food. I wasn’t the only one! For dinner I opted for the vegetarian entree, which was decent.
The dessert trio consisted of a sad little cold bread pudding, flanked by two delectable confections: a Scharffen Berger chocolate mousse and a Cowgirl Creamery cheesecake.
I bid my new blogger friends farewell and headed back to my hotel to curl up with a book and a hot tea before bed. I prepared myself for a crazy adventurous final day in San Francisco with one of my best friends. There were giant lattes, Chinatown shopping sprees, impromptu beer tastings, kimono fashion shows, and a whole lot of other things that I wouldn’t dare post (or even mention) on the internet.
And there were dozens of fluffy macarons. I promise I’ll tell you all about them next time.