Monday, November 14, 2011

Foodbuzz 3rd Annual Blogger Festival

Earlier this month, I went to the Foodbuzz 3rd Annual Blogger Festival in San Francisco!

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This was my first time visiting San Francisco (and only my second time in California - I was in Southern California earlier this year). It's a beautiful city and I wish I had had more time to explore - I was unfortunately only there for less than 48 hours!

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On the first night, bloggers were treated with an incredible spread food while the winners of the Foodbuzz Awards were announce. Lots of old favorites were winners (Oh She Glows, Eat Live Run, Peas and Thank You, to name a few), and I was introduced to some new blogs, including The Baker Chick (Audra's a fellow NYC-er!). Congrats to all the winners!

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The next day started off with info sessions on everything from blog design, food photography, social media, to creating a successful blog and building a presence. I attended Ashley of The Edible Perspective's super helpful DSLR photography session on "Moving Away from Auto Mode." I still have a lot of learning to do, but Ashley gave a lot of useful and accessible tips for food photography that I'm definitely going to use.

I got a chance to meet Mama Pea after Ashley's session and she gave me one of her famous pumpkin molasses dough balls. Nicest. woman. in. the. world. Please go buy her book. Now.

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{Photo courtesy of Jordan}

After the sessions, I grabbed a quick bite with my friend from college, Paige, who is now living in San Francisco and being a badass. We spent many a night in the video editing lab for journalism class in college, so we're basically bonded for life (whether you like it or not, Ms. Paige). She gave me the lowdown on the important things to do while in SF. Or maybe I demanded this information from her. Namely, I wanted to know how to get to the house from Full House (don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about), and how to get to the house from Mrs. Doubtfire (how classic is this scene with House of Pain blasting in the background?). Unfortunately, I didn't get to do either. Next time. Definitely.

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We ate at The Creamery, a cute little bistro/coffeeshop in the SOMA neighborhood. I got a veggie sandwich with brie and tomato and a side salad.

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I then met up with my bloggie buds and toured the "Taste Pavilion," a huge expo of national and local food and drink vendors.

I tried a crisp watermelon beer by 21st Amendment. This might be my new summer beer -- and it's at Whole Foods in NYC!

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Also took some samples of Bunny Bars, organic granola bars by 18 Rabbits. The packaging on these is adorable -- they're targeted at kids because they don't contain nuts (yay!) or dairy, and the bars have names like "Squeaky Cheeky Choco Cherry," but I think adults will buy these for themselves! So cute, and they're chewy, nutritious, and lower in calories compared to many granola bars.

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I'm also now obsessed with this bread company, Judy's Breadsticks. And they are sadly only in California! This bread company is completely vegan, and best of all nut-free! I am always weary of multigrain breads because they so often contain nuts. But I love that this company boasts that their breads are made in a completely nut-free bakery. And though I'm not vegan, it's pretty cool to that they're made entirely without animal products.

I sampled their Lovesticks with sunflower seeds -- it's like small baguette, but the texture was chewy and dense and tasted so wholesome. I also tried their Country Crackers, which are Lovesticks sliced and toasted to make crackers! And last but not least, I had their Twigs -- I tried the Coffee Bean flavor. It was like a slightly sweet breadstick! I bet these would be such a treat dunked in coffee. Judy's Breadsticks -- please come to the East Coast ASAP!

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Some other foodie findings from the pavilion were of the non-vegan variety :) This ricotta cheese was out of this world. The difference in taste between fresh and store-bought is unbelievable...

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Also had some amazing goat cheese, my absolute favorite kind of cheese…

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And feta made from goat's milk! Feta can be overwhelmingly salty, but this had such a pleasant subtle flavor. I really liked this...

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...Some non-alcoholic wine soda, sweetened only with the juice from the wine. A fun mocktail!

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...And some art for your brownies!

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At the TCHO station I sampled chocolates from darkest to lightest. I love the darkest of the dark!

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Celebrity chef, Tyler Florence, also made an appearance! I actually had not heard of him prior to the Foodbuzz Festival (#foodbloggerfail). He has shows on the Food Network and is a big-time chef in California. Here he is at the Alexia Foods booth with Amanda from Eats, Love, and Happiness.

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Our day concluded at a "gala dinner" where Tyler Florence gave a live cooking demo. Very cool to see him in action -- it's a serious skill to be able to talk and cook at the same time. And not make a mess!

Had a fantastic time in San Fran, though it was a quick trip! Made some new friends, learned a lot, and ate a lot of good food. Thanks to Foodbuzz for putting on such a great event! And see you soon, San Francisco!

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{My roomies: Lisa, Jordan, me, and Beth. Photo courtesy of Jordan}

6 comments:

  1. That goat cheese was so delicious....just has to be said. It's my favorite kind of cheese too I swear I'd have it with every meal if I could!

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  2. I just wrote about my love for the ricotta and breadsticks yesterday! So good. And glad you had a few nut-free options.

    Had such a good time hanging out. We'll have to meet up soon in NYC!

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  3. WooooO! Guest appearance!

    Great to see you. Must visit each other, NY or SF, soon again. :) :)

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  4. Oh yeah girl you made it on FYB! So good to see you. Another visit soon fo sho.

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