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FoodBuzz Festival 2010 • Workshops, Tastings + Gala Dinner

November 10, 2010 by Joan Nova in Blogging, Events, Savory Muffins, Travel Retrospectives | 11 Comments

Saturday was a really FULL day. It started with an 8:00 breakfast invitation from Nature’s Pride. From there I attended  3 workshops. Afterwards, we rushed over to the Tasting Pavilion at the Metreon where we did what we bloggers do best: taste, sip and shoot (photos). It’s also where I got to make my award-winning recipe presentation for Nature’s Pride. Quick-quick, back to the hotel and out again for a pre-gala drink with friends before ending the evening with a beautiful dinner in the Grand Hall at the Ferry Building.

Come…let me show you.

In case you didn’t know, Nature’s Pride, one of the FoodBuzz sponsors, picked my Fiesta Muffin as one of the 6 recipes to showcase at their booth in the Tasting Pavilion.Breakfast
They also invited about a dozen of us (winners from this year and last) and a couple of company reps for breakfast at Scala Bistro in the Sir Francis Drake Hotel so that we could get to know each other and the Nature’s Pride family. As I mentioned yesterday, Jennifer Biesty, the Executive Chef of Scala Bistro, was a Top Chef challenger. It’s a warm, clubby-like restaurant with a really great breakfast menu. I ate breakfast there twice in 3 days!Egg in a Whole…Wheat featured a slab of whole wheat bread with a fresh farm egg, proscuitto, shaved parmesan, truffle oil and gremolata. Yeah, a little outré for early in the morning, but who could resist? Certainly not me.

The Workshops: It’s a Snap! Marc from No Recipes and Laura from The Cooking Photographer gave us a slide presentation on how to improve our photography…Marc on lighting and Laura on composition. Then they ‘let us at it’ with our own cameras to practice.

Alaskan Seafood/Mary Sue Milliken (Two Hot Tamales, Border Grill)

Here we had a talk about sustainable fish and Mary Sue demonstrated making salmon and halibut fish tacos with 2 salsas (which we got to eat later at the Tasting Pavilion).

The Write Taste
Try writing a story about one of these items without using any traditional (over-used) words, like those being held up by Greg of Sippity Sup. And to make it tougher, there was another list of verboten words behind him.

Not easy! Especially when you’re under the clock and have Brooke of Food Woolf and Linda of Salty Seattle making like the head nuns of a strictly-run boarding school for wayward kids!

Tasting Pavilion
Here I am about to start prepping my recipe for attendees. I was the first of 6 bloggers who won this sought after position and presented their recipes to the crowd. In the second photo, the Nature’s Pride rep is passing out tastes that were made by the catering company behind the scenes. They did a really good job executing my recipe.

I didn’t take many photos at the Tasting because I was famished by the time I finished my presentation and all I could think of was eating — and I wound up on a long line for the fish tacos. You can see how hungry I was by the obvious overload!

The Gala
And gala it was! We gathered for drinks in the outdoor corridor of the Ferry Building and then moved upstairs to the Grand Hall for a really excellent dinner catered by  Paula Le Duc. Bonny Doon Vineyards paired each course.

Roasted Beet, Tart with feta, currants, wild arugula and basil puree
Ca’ del Solo Albariño 2009

Seared Scallops with braised fennel and fried fennel fronds
Le Cigare Blanc 2007

Rosemary + Garlic Infused Rack of Lamb with local wild mushrooms and butternut squash puree
Le Cigare Volant 2006

Tarta de Almendras with Oranges and Spanish sherry saboyon
Vinferno Dessert Wine 2008

[ASIDE: Really great foresight by the party planners  (or luck) that the lighting in The Grand Hall was perfect for taking photos of the food…don’t you agree? So important for bloggers.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you the farewell brunch and introduce you to some of the bloggers I met. And if you missed day 1, click here.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. It seems you had a great time AND you look like a TV chef !!!
    Congrats !!!

  2. Nice round up Joan…I love your new do by the way! The classes seemed very interesting…especially the writing class. Great to see your recipe was chosen too!

  3. stephchows says:

    love the write up and love the picture of you in the natures pride booth!!

  4. Liz says:

    Looks like a wonderful time. Congratulations on your muffins!

  5. Vicki says:

    Congratulations Joan! Wow that is great to be recognized at such a large event. You should be so proud!
    With so many lovers of food presently such delights I agree I would never stop eating!
    But I must add, reading the blog is almost as tasty as eating the food!
    Congrats you are great!

  6. Dorothy says:

    What a fun event. The muffins look delicious-I can only imagine. So happy you won.

  7. sippitysup says:

    I miss you and all the fun and food already! GREG

  8. Lidia Lipstick says:

    And AGAIN my mouth is watering. No kidding. Everything looked so delicious. Congratulations on the win and being showcased; what an honor and you look great.

    Note to Chef Joan. I am expecting to have the winning Nature’s Pride recipe when I get Casa Nova in a few weeks; you know I prefer savory to sweet.

  9. Ha! You’re punny! “Saturday was a really FULL day.”

    I never did get a fiesta muffin, which was a bummer because I was looking forward to them, even though I too had a very full day lol! But I have the recipe now, so I can make my own.

  10. Lori Lynn says:

    I’ve got to take Greg’s advice on eliminating those words! Ha!
    …and I want to fry fennel fronds!
    So glad you had a good time! Congrats on the muffins. YAY for you!

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