Aug
15
2011

On the Town

SF CHEFS Recap: August 1-7

Last issue I shared about one of my favorite food and drink events all year, SF Chefs. After attending every day, going home for naps and heading back out for evening mayhem, here areĀ  just a few fond memories. My husband, Daniel Stumpf, assisted me with photos from Friday night and Sunday.

8/4 Sugar & Spice Party

The elegant top floor of The Westin St. Francis: setting for Thursday night's Sugar & Spice Party w/ Juanita Moore DJ-ing & city views

Ever a joy, Hoss Zare of Zare at Fly Trap made one of few blessedly savory bites (lamb tacos) in a sweet-heavy nite

 

 

 

 

Chef David Lawrence's (of 1300 on Fillmore) Maple Syrup Braised Short Ribs

I was continually drawn back to Wente Vineyards' Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Truffles

8/5 Opening Party in Union Square

SF Chefs official kick-off w/ a all-star chefs including Mourad Lahlou (Aziza, center) and Hubert Keller (Fleur de Lys, right)

Chefs Hubert Keller (L), Ryan Scott (Center), Chris Cosentino (R) during the opening ceremony

Chef Ryan Scott (of Top Chef fame) made lovely Pork Rillettes w/ fig & fennel accents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourad Lahlou's (Aziza) intriguing corn espresso chips dissolved on the tongue with complex layers and edible flowers

Jon Gaspirini (Rye, Rye on the Road) makes a playful, refreshing snow cone of a cocktail: Lawrenceburg Swizzle with Wild Turkey 101, lemon, maple syrup, Bitter Truth Creole Bitters, over crushed ice and garnished with mint

The boys of Smuggler's Cove, Steven Liles (L) and Marco Dionysos (R), keep it real with Marco's ukelele tunes and a winning cocktail of the night w/ Ron Brugal Extra Viejo Rum, passion fruit nectar, fresh lime & pineapple juice, demerara sugar, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, cinnamon, nutmeg

One of the top bites of the night: Pican's Whole Hog Pork "Sloppy Joe" contrasted w/ green tomato chow chow, cumin mayo, smoked cheddar crunchies

Jacques Bezuidenhout mans Campari's winning cart : Negronis from star bartenders all weekend (classic Negronis or variations w/ sherry, tequila, champagne)

Yamazaki brand ambassador Neyah White brings the goods, as always, pouring not yet available in the states Hakushu whisky, and on Sat. night, Japenese whiskies with gorgeous hand-cut ice spheres + mix your own bitters & Japanese sugars

Bourbon Steak's (Chef Omri Afalo) creative beef carpaccio comes w/ chalk diagram pointing out elements like citrus espuma (foam) & micro mustard

Up the elevator to City Club's 10th floor (famed for Diego Rivera mural) for Friday night's after party: Hubert Keller's DJing (sound at nearly unbearable decibel levels), dancing, chocolates, wine

Yamazaki National Ambassador Gardner Dunn is a wizard with ice, speedily hacking ice into works of art for whisky on the rocks in quiet 9th flr cigar/whisky room (the best part of Friday after party)

8/6–Grand Tasting & Evening Party

I have less photos from Saturday, needing to take time off without lugging my big camera around. These photos are from the daytime Grand Tasting in the Tent, although the evening party in Union Square was another non-stop taste pleasure. It was, however, far too crowded; many chefs ran out of food by 9pm, so I missed a 3rd of the bites, whereas at all other events, I tasted almost everything (yes, I need a break!) Friday was better on crowds and food supply (selling point: was the night with heavy cocktail/bar focus), though both nights had bands that kept people dancing till closing time.

Saturday night’s after party with shimmering city views atop the Westin St. Francis was the best after party of the week, with gorgeous cocktails in vintage glassware from the Bon Vivants, spirits from Skyy, Negroni parfaits, and an all-star crew of Top Chef alums making memorable bites. We danced joyously into the night with the smooth funk of Hot Pocket and tight tunes from DJ Dojah. Please, may we have another one like this next year?

As usual, Martin Yan charms the crowd during a cooking demo in Grand Tasting Tent

H. Joseph Ehrmann (Elixir, Circolo) leads a cocktail demo in Grand Tasting Tent

Lovely Kelli Bratvold makes Bramble cocktails w/ fresh berries for Beefeater & Plymouth Gin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprising refresher in POM (pomegranate liqueur) Tent during a warm Saturday by Kristin Almy of Bar Adagio: POM Lemon Chili Basil or Apricot Peppercorn Snow Cones

Though Poggio's fresh sardines were my top taste during daytime tent, I was impressed w/ Pizzeria Delfina's chilled tripe in chili oil w/ cucumbers

My favorite bite of Sat. night: Chef Alexander Ong's Chiang Mai lemongrass pork sausage over coconut sticky rice w/ chili-lime sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8/7–Grand Tasting Tent

Easily the controversial taste of Sunday (everyone I spoke to either loved it or didn't think it worked - all were fascinated by and talking about it): Sons & Daughters' marshmallow topped w/ foie gras bits & agastache herbs

Joanne Weir and Chef Gary Danko lead a cooking demo

Bar Crudo's bright, of-the-sea bite of fresh mussels with jalapeno, banyuls vinaigrette, herbs

Robert Gonzales (L) & H. Jospeh Ehrmann man the Campari cart with tequila or basil Negronis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best bites of the day: Cliff House's Halibut Crudo perks up w/ cucumber, pickled ume, lemon verbena oil and a strawberry chip

No surprise: Chef Ravi Kapur of Prospect pleases with braised Berkshire pork cheeks contrasted by grapes, preserved orange, shaved radish, ancient grains, torpedo onions

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