Sunday, November 7, 2010

Foodbuzz Blogger Fest 2010: Tips, Tricks, and Pics

San Francisco! It's been such a long time. The last time I walked these streets I was in chef's whites and hounds tooth pants, lugging my knife bag and tool box to and from the California Culinary Academy. This time, I was lugging my laptop, camera, and business cards, around the 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. How is it that I always end up roaming these streets with a pack of unabashed food-worshippers? What can I say? This is my tribe and I love 'em.

One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to meet superstar Chef, Mary Sue Milliken, of Border Grill.
She was here with the folks from Alaska Seafood to announce The 1st Ever Wild Alaska Fish Taco Recipe Contest. Anyone can enter, and the winner gets an all expenses paid trip to LA to serve their winning taco from the Border Grill Truck with the Too Hot Tamales (Chef's Milliken and Feniger). You also get $500 bucks, a snazzy camera, and a bunch more stuff. I don't know about you, but my taco wheels are a turnin'.


I learned a new tortilla trick from Chef Mary Sue:

Pro Tip for reheating corn tortillas: dip them in water before giving them a quick one-two-flip in a hot skillet, for moist and pliable taco wrappers that won't break when you bend them.

I also got to meet one of my all time favorite food bloggers: Marc from No Recipes.


His food photos make my tummy growl. When I see his pics, I wonder, "How did he do that?!" He shared some of his photo expertise in a Breakout Session called:



Marc taught us a surprising trick for creating bright, Martha Stewart-like food photographs:

Pro Tip for food photography: Use back lighting to create bright and glowy food images with a feeling of suspense and mystery. 


I couldn't spend a weekend in San Francisco without running into someone from my culinary alma mater. Chef John taught computer skills at CCA, and is now blogging full time at Food Wishes , which features video recipes, prepared by Chef John, and requested by his readers-- hence, their "Food Wishes". His site is the web's LEADING video recipe blog! Go Chef John! He explained how he has filmed most of his 500+ online cooking videos:


Pro Tip for video recipe blogging: Skip the hair and makeup session by filiming in a style called "hands-in-pans". No need to show your mug when the camera is strictly pointed at the food.

Aside from the standard elbow rubbing, connection building, and shop talk typical of such events, what made my first Foodbuzz conference stand out was, well, the FOOD. And the beer. And the wine. It was like a 48-hour cocktail party with the most outstanding hors d'oeuvres, and no one was complaining about that. Last night's Gala Dinner was hands down the best plated dinner I've ever had at a 350+ event.
Much as I enjoy food and wine pairing, the bona fide German bier frau in me enjoyed many a glass of barley pop throughout the weekend, all from members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild-- an apparently robust and flourishing organization. One of the most memorable flavors of the weekend for me was this Watermelon Wheat Beer from 21st Amendment, served at Saturday afternoon's Tasting Pavilion.


Even at the end of it's summer season, this refreshing brew managed to feel both light and substantial, quenching my thirst with a juicy hit of watermelon, without being sweet. Sweet beer has it's place, but it's rare that I sample a beer made with fruit that I want to keep around a 6-pack of. This was an exception, and I put in a request that they start distributing to Montana, asap.

There is so much I'll be taking with me back to Montana. Like new and rekindled friendships with: 

My Luscious Temple
You Can't Eat What?
Living My Whole Life
A Foodie Stays Fit
The Enchanted Cook
The Nutty Fig
Ash and Lew Plus 2
Nibbles of Tidbits
And too many more to mention!


I'll also be taking home a heap of swag, a mild hangover, and a few extra pounds. It was worth it! Every delicious, organic, aromatic calorie. Foodbuzz, you know how to have fun. Thanks for making this weekend as dreamy as this spectacular city.

4 comments:

Shelly Borrell said...

Hi Ginny -- So nice to meet you at the event! Overall, it was an interesting and fun experience. You were great to get to know and hang out with. I'm glad our paths kept crossing in such a large crowd. You're in a photo I'll be posting when I recover from the cold I now have. No energy right now to deal with the massive material ;) I'll send a link when I put it up. Y'all look good!! I shipped all my goodies home and sure wish I had them now, when I'm not stuffed like before, haha. REPEAT! Enjoy beautiful Montana.

Shelly

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks said...

Thanks for the info on the taco contest. My head is beginning to spin. Sounds like you had a blast.

Megan said...

I loved that watermelon beer! They don't distribute in Texas yet either but I'm hoping...
It was great to chat with you again and I hope to see you at IACP :)

Lentil Breakdown.blogspot.com said...

Glad you had fun. I've seen the Two Hot Tamales (Mary Sue and Susan) here and they put on a fun show.

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