FoodBuzz Fest: Histrionic Highlights

I love this city so much.

Hello dear ones!

Sunday before last I hauled my huge-ass carryon back into my apartment, refrigerated my cheese sticks, and commenced with a plan of action for the swag bag box of Duncan Hines cake mix.

But first, a thought experiment.

When a TSA guy looks at your carryon as it slides through security and his first question is “an egg beater?” how do you avoid certain confiscation?

You pull a Monty Python and ask a question.

“How long can eggs safely be kept after their sell-by date?” I said with a disarming smile.

Charmed and curious, my TSA darling asks how many.


This was in fact the answer I gave to win the damn thing in the first place. Thanks OXO!  Amused, he lets it go. He also forgot about the bottle of sleepy water I had in my bag. ‘Twas a sample of some melatonin and GABA-spike beverage from LAX.

Pardonnez-moi the in medias res. This past weekend I flew up for FoodBuzz Fest. After a ton of great memories, awesome food, and rampant overindulgence, I am sad to leave San Francisco but happy to be inspired again to breathe some life into this blog.

Recaps have been covered by many lovely peeps. However, I shall provide a few highlights.

Friday: Leaving on a Late Plane

11:45 am: Discover my plane is delayed one hour. This is as long as the actual flight.

12:30 pm: While chatting with a charming New Zealand guy, I run into a fellow chica attending FB, Jessie @ Jessie Bea Eats. Wooo! Friends!

4:45 pm: Land in San Fransisco. Groan about possibly missing the shuttle to the opening dinner. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Jessie and I tag-teamed and grabbed a taxi to our hotels. Thanks to our lovely cabbie we arrived on time for the shuttle to the Terra Gallery. I was in Hawk-Eye mode for him taking winding routes through downtown SF, but he actually took some crazy and quasi-legal shortcuts!

6pm: Sabra is seducing us with hummus. Cute waiters are tempting me with wine. Silly rabbits, wine is for classy people.

6:30pm: Run into Mama Pea @ Peas and Thank You. Flabbergasted she remembered me from last year.

6:31pm: Find it utterly hilarious Sabra is hosting the opening reception. Wondered if one of their new flavors would have nooch in it.

6:45pm: Meet a precocious young blogger, Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco. Consider this my narrative attempt to plant seeds for further in the story.

6:50pm: Run into Andrea @ Andrea’s Wellness Notes and Andy @ Grateful Hubby, two peeps I was dying to see. Andrea is as gorgeous and classy as ever, and charming Andy never fails to make me laugh.

7pm: We are ushered into the dining area. It’s a combination of small plates and buffet action. And an open bar. Hell yeah!

7:01: Remember I am on Wellbutrin and should abstain from much alcohol. :-(

7:02pm: Remember my psychiatrist said it’s fine to drink but just to stop before I get hammered. :-)

7:05pm: Join up with Andrea and Andy in the pork belly line. This is amazing pork belly.

Nom nom on the pork belly

7:10pm: Find the scallops line rather long and remember I’m thirsty. Why hello there Bloom gin cocktail!

7:15pm: Wander back into the scallops line. Run into Lauren @ Whole Wheat or Bust. HAPPY DANCE!!! Andrea, Andy, and now Lauren — I’ve run into all my favorite peeps! Oh yeah, scallops were pretty good too.

Celery puree!

7:30pm: Wine is starting to taste good. The alcohol is working!

7:35pmissssh: Run into Ellie @ Fit For the Soul, my arranged roommate. Sophia paired us up as roomies but we’d never met in person. Glad to find out she’s a sweetheart! (and not a serial killer).

8:00pm: I am most definitely tipsy. Ergo I’m 20 kinds of cute and bounce from person I vaguely know to person I vaguely know. Wonder vaguely if I come across as a slobbering drunk.

8:15pm: Find an adorable bartender who makes me an all-fruit equivalent to a midori sour. LUFF!

8:20pm: Run back into Kelly and we really hit it off. Similar backstories and tastes in musical theatre. Albeit, Kelly is actually a trained singer and I am not.

8:30pm: Giggle way too much that half the bloggers to win blogger awards are not in attendance. Congrats Angela @ Oh She Glows!

8:35pm: Get the amusing idea to text Sophia pretending to be very drunk. Fake drunk texts ftw!

8:40pm: Get way happier than I should when Ellie (a linguist) said my voice sounded like a mix of Southern and British. That’s a description I can rock!

8:50pm: DESSERT FTW!

Macarons and Jello Shots!

Nutella Butter Cups!

9:30pm: Attempt to find restroom. Run into adorable catering guy who has no clue where the restroom is. Ah well, nothing like a little eye candy nightcap.

9:45pm: Realize halfway back to the hotel MAH SWEATER is gone! Some waitress had forcibly checked it out of my hands and I’d forgotten to pick it back up.

10:00pm: Sashay back to the hotel with Ellie. ‘Tis much fun and revelry. Tipsiness starts to fade. Oh well.

SATURDAY: Libations of Madness

Saturday I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. As I rarely drink (too much $$$ and calories) I get buzzed very easily. Catch is I come down fast. I’ve gotten pretty drunk in my life (as random numbers in my phone have shown me) but I’ve never had a hangover. Worst case scenario: I wake up wanting to eat a few apples. Some people want toast, I want foliage.

Anon, breakfast! They had to coax us out of bed somehow, as this morning was panel. I cracked up when the schedule mentioned “light healthy breakfast” and the first thing I saw was muffins and scones. I tasted a little bit of everything.

Protein is apparently not invited to this party

Wait wait, n/m! This was actually a pretty nice little breakfast. Sayeth the girl who doesn't really eat breakfast anymore but oh well.

The panel had some amazing peeps, namely Jessica @ How Sweet It Is and Mama Pea. Last year I didn’t see any of the panels — my posse and I played hooky at the Ferry Building. The workshops today were cool though!

I marched up to Jessica and thanked her for her Butterball Cookie recipe . I made it for my mom and she proclaimed it the best cookies I’d ever made. In terms of pure Food Porn, Jessica’s blog is my favorite, so I was incredibly happy to meet her.

At the informational sessions I learned about improving photography with my point-and-shoot and the importance of social media. If any of you want to strangle me for my excessive tweeting, blame Irvin @ Eat the Love and Stella @ BraveTart.

The photography panel was neat too; my photography is terrible (as evidenced by this blog post and teased by Sophia [no offense taken I totally agree]) but it’s weird because my videography is not. I shoot damn fine video and my broadcast teacher has lambasted me for making my packages too cinematic. Where’s the disconnect?

Leave it to Greg @ Sippity Sup to point it out through his presentation. He stressed telling an entire story in a photo. Sounds like “well, duh,” but he described setting up a photo just as I would think about setting up a film shot. Totally different than how I usually view photography.  Chuck Lai @ Foodgawker and  Angi Chau @ Rice and Wheat had great tips too.

My blog has never really been a recipe blog but I might play with my camera more.

Post Panel…the Tasting Pavillion!

Oh what fools we gluttons be. I tasted delicacies like Australian lamb, fish croquettes, and biscotti that did not hurt my teeth. A few shout-outs:

Hottie Biscotti – for super tasty…biscotti

Alexia — try their sweet potato tots. Now.

Bellwether Farms — mega yummy sheep cheeses!

California Walnut Council — because their little bruschetta thing was yummers, and toasted walnuts taste heavenly this time of year

Estancia Beef — grass-fed beef at its best! They only used salt and it was divine

Sweet — swoon-worthy, portion-controlled creme brulee!

Wine Forest Wild Foods — wild foods like juniper and elderberry flower do not get enough credit anymore. They should.

Australian Lamb – lamb is the most underrated meat in the U.S. Plus, Australian lamb is grass-fed!

Yes I know I'm eating babies. I don't care.

I did a final lap around the Pavilion with Lauren, who was heading back early. We ended at the Bloom booth. Those dudes do some lovely gin — the bite is friendly rather than tongue-burning. So happy we got to meet up Lauren!

Also said goodbye to Andrea and Andy. Lovely as always to see you guys.

The kindly FoodBuzz peeps also returned my sweater to me. I was overjoyed. So overjoyed I walked back to my hotel, toting 50 pounds of swag. Annnnnd I got caught in the rain and somehow lost said sweater. WTF? I don’t lose things. I lose my way and get lost, but I don’t lose stuff.

Anyhoodle, the gala dinner!

Kelly & Ellie -- two peeps I'm so happy to have met, thanks to FoodBuzz.

Our special guest was Tyler Florence. He’s quite cute in real life. He also needs to add “food porn director” to his resume, as he performed a cooking demo of the most scandalously appetizing pork chop meal.

Yet our X-rated adventure turned out to be a striptease. After cooking up this amazing fare, we were served steak and roasted veggies instead of chops with cabbage and spaetzel. Still, good steak for a catering company. They weren’t very accommodating of the vegans though, less so than last year.

Glad to see FoodBuzz isn't racist with its appetizers.

Oh hai.

Beer goggles mode!

Please don't be well done please don't be well done....YAY NOT WELL DONE!

It was awesome just chatting with people, warmed by wine and good company. But soon enough we toddled back to hotel.

Sunday: Au Revoir, mes Aliments

Stepping out of our hotel to hail a cab, Ellie and I ran into two bloggers eating oatmeal at a cafe. This is where I commit an epic dumbass moment. I’m thinking these ladies look sooo familiar. Of course I smiled and pretended to know them, as something was telling me I’d seen them before.

Ellie yanked me from me dementia. Kath @ Kath Eats Real Food and her sister. DUUUH! I swear I don’t fully leave dreamland until I’ve had my coffee.

The farewell brunch was held at Perry’s, right by the Ferry Building. Ellie and I hung out mostly with Kelly and Megg @ Pop Artichoke. Godiva had an amazing Christmas twist on an Irish coffee — it had peppermint!

Mimosas -- what Sunday brunch simply cannot be without

Ellie had the awesome idea to head to Sur La Table in the Ferry Building. I grabbed Kelly and we trotted over. Then I realized neither of mes amies had been to the Ferry Building. That simply had to be amended. The Ferry Building is full of wonders like funky mushrooms, amazing coffee, and vegan donuts. I debated buying a donut pan at Sur La Table but deferred to cheapness.

Alas, twas soon time to go. Heading out, my eyes caught a familiar logo. Alfieri Farms!!!

Cue happy dance!

This farm has the best almond butter I have ever tasted. Ever. Kicks Barney’s, Maranatha’s, and Trader Joe’s collective asses. They used to come to my San Francisco University to sell their nuts and fruit. Amazing stuff. The lovely clerk let us sample some almond brittle.

Finally it was time to race like madmen back to the hotel to meet checkout time. Once checked out we chilled for our Shuttle, headed back to the airport, and parted ways.

It was a lovely weekend.

It also made me want to share the wealth. That’s the only hint I’m giving y’all. Bye bye birdies!

10 responses to “FoodBuzz Fest: Histrionic Highlights

  1. That looks like a seriously cool weekend. I went to my first Blogging day not long ago – loved it – go the Aussie Lamb :)

  2. Wow, so much packed in to one post!

    If your photography skills are bad, I dread to think what mine would be classified as :P I’m generally in the situation of ‘I’m too hungry to be arsed to take a good photo!’ Terrible excuse, I know.

    I love how you did not recognise Kath but had a great time with the ‘smaller’ bloggers – it just reflects your totally unpretentious attitude, and emphasises to me why I love you and your blog. I think the description of your accent is spot on as well – you have a lovely voice, and a charming manner that seems very traditionally English to me. I think a lot of English people could learn from your impeccable manners and winning demenour, to be quite honest :)


  3. Fun recap! Very glad you made it to the festival!!! It was so good to hang out (and which we didn’t have baby sitting issues and could have hung out more…)!!!

  4. Oh my goodness, everything looks so amazing! Plus it sounds like it was really fun. Interesting note on the photography vs. filming thing, I never thought about that.

  5. Wasn’t Foodbuzz great? We had so much fun! Thank you for the post. It’s always fun to dwell on- I mean, remember the past.

    On a different note, got any Thanksgiving plans? I’ll email you. We need to chat. ;)

  6. Haha.. I look drunk in that photo. I wasn’t… I swear! Great recap.. it seems I somehow missed those macarons… DAMN!

  7. It was SOOOOOOOOO great to spend the largest chunks of our Festival time with you, Mimi. Can’t wait to hang out again – perhaps next spring or so, we’ll make another L.A. trip. Until then, we’ll always have pork belly… :)

  8. How fun! I was so bummed to miss this! Thanks for all the pics and stories!

  9. Hey Mimi! What’s up? Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Award and I put my age on the blog and I think you’d find the reactions quite interesting. ;) Love ya!

  10. haha I loved this recap! So full of details!! How in the world did you remember…so…much????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not good at chronologizing things lol. :P I miss you Mimi!! I often think of you <3

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