August 11, 2009

SF Chefs. Food. Wine. Talk about a tour de force. I feel like I just got out of the Trang—well, an urban and epicurean one. I was deep in the culinary and cocktail jungle, four days filled with the rapid fire of bites of food from some of the City's finest chefs, the rat-a-tat of sips of wine, and a veritable bombing of cocktails. (Good thing I love the smell of napalm in the morning.) In fact, they were excellent cocktails—every day they kept verging on stealing the (USO) show. Although I did a terrible job documenting them—and a commendable job of drinking them.

Oh yeah, and to further the jungle vibe, the tent was its own hair-curling and sweat-inducing humid microclimate—at least my hair liked it. I set up a flickr photo album so you can see some highlights (of the event, not my hair, hello). The line-up includes pics from the Rising Star Chefs event Thursday night, Friday night I was at the Out of the Fog Event at Orson (but oops, I left my camera in my car), I also hit up Saturday's Grand Tasting and the Urban BBQ (plus moderated a panel, and was a guest on another), and wrapped it all up with Sunday's Grand Tasting and the "View from the Top" afternoon session.

Big props to event organizers Dominic Phillips Event Marketing and Andrew Freeman & Co., plus the GGRA and VISA for making it all happen. For a first-year effort, I was really impressed, and I know I'm not alone. Of course there are tweaks and things to be adjusted, but overall it was pretty darned cool to be in the middle of Union Square and eating bites and drinking cocktails and wine from some of the most talented people in the country. It was also nice to see everyone hanging out and working together and trying each other's food and drinks.

That tour of duty may be all done, but really, there's no rest for the wicked, because I already have my next assignment: my Alfa is washed and shiny, all primed and ready for my drive down to Los Gatos to check out Dio Deka (hello halloumi), and then off to Santa Cruz for an overnighter, and a visit to the Cellar Door Café at Bonny Doon. With lots and lots of exercise in between. And some sunbathing. And manuscript editing.

Oh, and since some of you set your Tuesday clock or coffee break to tablehopper coming out at 3pm, next week's issue is going to be arriving a bit later in the day, FYI.

Lock and load.