Agenda

Meet. Greet. Eat. Share. This past weekend, over three hundred Foodbuzz Featured Publishers shared this agenda at the Second Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. My fellow Featured Publishers flew in from all over the country – actually, the world – to San Francisco, where Foodbuzz is…

Agenda

Meet. Greet. Eat. Share.

This past weekend, over three hundred Foodbuzz Featured Publishers shared this agenda at the Second Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. My fellow Featured Publishers flew in from all over the country – actually, the world – to San Francisco, where Foodbuzz is based, to revel in a weekend packed with food tastings, seminars, and the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.

When I started Kitchen Confidante, I assumed that writing a blog was a solitary activity. The process was supposed to be: you cook, you photograph, you write. As time passed, and as, amazingly, people read, I quickly learned that comments lead to acquaintances, and sometimes even into friendships. It lead to community.

I was flabbergasted when I learned that there were food blogger conferences across the country, ones that were most often sold out and filled to capacity. As I delved deeper into this community, I grew excited about the idea of attending these events; when I learned that Foodbuzz hosts a festival for its Featured Publishers, it was a no-brainer. I knew I had to be there.

For me, it was a simple drive across the bridge, but I was in awe of all the attendees who were flying in from all corners of the U.S., as well as Canada and Bulgaria! And I couldn’t help but feel, as I always do, such deep pride for this host city, as San Francisco is what I consider a foodie utopia.

The festival events were held in landmarks all over San Francisco.

Friday evening, the festival kicked off with a Welcome Reception & Street Food Fair at the Fort Mason Center. As I crossed the threshold of the Herbst Pavilion, I was quite overwhelmed by the sheer number of attendees. For a moment, knowing that there are hundreds of people who share this passion for writing about food was dizzying – and that was just in a 30,000 square foot contained space. The reality that there are thousands of food bloggers all over the world set in, but the queasiness lasted just a short time.

Before I knew it, I was encountering old friends, meeting new ones, and eating to my heart’s content.

I returned on Saturday for a full day of Festival activities. The morning was spent at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel for morning break out sessions and seminars. By lunch, a famished and eager throng of attendees set upon the Metreon for the Taste Pavilion. For me, it was a visual and toothsome delight.

Here are some of the most memorable.

Poached Gulf Prawns & Chile-Gazpacho, Miss Pearl's Restaurant

King Salmon, Halibut and Salmon Tacos, Chef Mary Sue Milliken for Alaska Seafood

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Savory Shortbread, by Tyler Florence

Ghirardelli Toffee Smores & Pumpkin Spice Parfaits

Mission Minis

Lisa of Korean American Mommy demonstrating her recipe for Nature's Pride

Whenever I am in the city, I usually am under a tight schedule – there are reservations and events, traffic patterns and miscellaneous commitments. I hardly have the leisure to wander and soak in the atmosphere these days. Having some time between the Tasting Pavilion and the evening’s Gala Dinner was a rare treat, and San Francisco made the day even sweeter by granting us sunshine and balmy temperatures.

View of Moscone Center from City View at the Metreon

Chandara of Spicy Green Mango and I wandered down to Yerba Buena Gardens to find a cup of tea and a comfortable place to rest. By the blooms and the gorgeous greenery, you would never know it was November.

Hika Sencha Tea, Samovar Tea Lounge

By nightfall, we made our way to the Saturday Night Grand Dinner at the Ferry Building. Held in the lofty and almost celestial Grand Hall, it was a most sumptuous and fitting setting for the beautifully executed dinner hosted by The Cooking Channel.

Roasted Golden Beet Tart

Seared Scallops with Bonny Doon Vineyard Verjus Beurre Blanc & Rosemary and Garlic Infused Rack of Lamb

Tarta de Almendras with Oranges

Each course was executed perfectly, no small feat when catering such a large event. The beets and scallops were my personal favorites of the dinner, and just when I thought I simply had no more room for anything more after the generously portioned lamb chop, the ethereally light almond cake was the perfect ending to a stunning meal.

Beyond the food, however, the best part of my experience this weekend were the personal connections I was able to make with both familiar names and new connections. I met so many warm souls this weekend, and it was such a joy to put faces to names I have only seen on comments or on Twitter. And though I was not able to attend the farewell brunch the following morning, knowing that I met many kindred spirits was the best conclusion to a memorable weekend. I can’t wait till next year.

 

Comments

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    • Liren

      Mardi, thank you! I’m pleased you liked the photos – it’s just a little taste of the festival. Wish you could have joined us this year, I would have loved to meet you in person.

      Reply
  1. Becky

    I’m glad that you had such a good time and dot to meet so many of the Food Buzz community, and have such wonderful food. of course I’m jealous, but I want to go next year!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Becky, you must come next year to the festival! Hope to meet you there, andIi know you would enjoy meeting such a fun group of bloggers!

      Reply
  2. Mimi

    Hi Liren,
    It was so nice meeting you at the foodbuzz fest. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to see you again after the Metreon. I had a really good experience meeting everyone there and I’ve used your guidebook to go to several places on my trip which I will blog about soon. Hope to come back and visit SF again soon. Btw, I love your buttermilk fried chicken recipe!

    Mimi

    Reply
    • Liren

      Mimi, I am so glad we were at the same table – it was great to meet you, and I adored your hand cut pigs! Glad the Michelin guide got put to good use, definitely come back to SF soon!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Kath – you came up in conversation at the festival with Quyen from Kitchen Runway! Hope you are well!

      Reply
  3. Cheryl

    The pictures alone make me proud to live so close to SF!! Your post was fabulous!! The food looks like it was amazing!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Cheryl! We are so lucky to have all this wonderful food and beauty at our fingertips, I’m thankful every day :) Glad you liked the post!

      Reply
  4. Monet

    Such lovely photographs…such a wonderful recap. Thank you for taking me to San Francisco with you! It sounds like it was a weekend to remember.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you Monet! Wish you could have been there, too – I hope that next time you can come to the festival and enjoy SF in person :)

      Reply
  5. Cindy

    Thanks for sharing your experience at this event and for posting such incredible pictures. I can only imagine how you enjoyed every minute of it.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Cyndi, thank you so much for stopping by – I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and photos of the festival – it really was lovely!

      Reply
  6. Geri | The Princess Gourmet

    Liren…a wonderful post and beautiful photos capturing the spirit of the weekend. It was a pleasure meeting you and as I mentioned to you, your blog has been truly inspirational to me. As mine is a work in process, I hope that my blog can elevate to the level yours has achieved. Again, wonderful meeting you and I hope to cross paths again with you in the near future!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Geri, meeting you was such a joy, and your comments just make me blush with happiness. Thank you SO much! I hope you have a wonderful vacation — enjoy every minute!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Next year, you MUST come to the festival! I thought of you the whole time – I know you would have enjoyed it :)

      Reply
  7. Sara @CaffeIna

    Too bad I did not have a chance to talk to you! We will have to do a festival all over again…or even just a Bay Area meeting :)
    I loved your recap!

    Reply
    • Liren

      I regret not having a chance to chat with you, too! I would love to do a Bay Area meeting – do you participate in the google group (I should get on that list, that reminds me)?

      Reply
  8. Adelina

    I hope next year I don’t have any other family engagements since I don’t want to miss this event. Thanks so much for sharing with everyone. Love your photography!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Adelina, I hope you can make it for the festival next year! I know I’m already looking forward to it.

      Reply
  9. Tiny Urban Kitchen

    Beautiful post! I love your photography! It was great meeting you in person on Friday night. So glad to get a peek at what happened the other two days of the festival!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Jen, I’m so glad we met at the Street Food fair! Those tacos were so good, eh? Glad I could share the rest of the festival with you through this post; hope you had a great time at your friend’s wedding.

      Reply
    • Liren

      Yes, twas brief, but it’s totally okay! I’m glad we were able to meet, if even for a moment!

      Reply
  10. Gina @ skinnytaste

    Liren, I loved seeing your beautiful photos! And yes you truly are lucky to live in the Bay area. I wish I could have gotten a chance to say goodbye, until the next time my foodie friend!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Can’t wait till you return to visit the Bay Area, Gina! Definitely come back and stay longer, ok?

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hong and Kim, I’m happy we were able to share the dinner with you both! You are such a lovely couple, inside and out!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you Amelia! Yes, the busy setting does make snapping shots such a challenge! I’m glad I was able to capture some tasty shots :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Emily, I’m so glad we met, too! Can’t wait for next year’s festival :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Lauren! Camera – I think I’m one of the few people who does not shoot a Canon. I use a Nikon, currently a D90. And my lens is just a very basic 35 mm. Would love to upgrade one day. Glad you enjoyed the pictures!

      Reply
    • Liren

      I couldn’t think of a better bud to enjoy this day and go snap-happy with! Now of course, I am drooling over that lens, you used, LOL.

      Reply
  11. Mhel B

    I wish I was there.. I love attending food events. This is much exciting, not only that you’ll enjoy wonderful grubs, you’ll be able to meet your blogger buddies personally…..

    Reply
    • Liren

      It really was lovely, Mhel – hope you can join us next time to meet everyone!

      Reply
    • Liren

      It was so fun meeting you – I’m glad we ran into one another! I agree, meeting everyone was the best part :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks, glad you liked the pictures! It really was a fun weekend :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Nancy – glad you enjoyed the photos – hopefully next time, you can attend the festival and enjoy it in person!

      Reply
  12. Jean

    Beautiful recap of a fun weekend, Liren. I felt exactly the same walking in the Herbst Pavilion and seeing all those faces. I had an idea of the number of attendees but actually seeing so many “food people” was overwhelming. Thankfully, the feeling quickly turned to fun. Can’t wait for next year, too. :-)

    Reply
    • Liren

      I am so glad you understood that feeling – it was definitely intimidating seeing SO many “foodies” in one building. I’m just thankful that everyone was so approachable and kind!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Brian, it was great to meet you in person! Next time, we must hang out more :)

      Reply
  13. Olga @ MangoTomato

    why oh why did I click on the link so early in the morning?? now I’m super hungry. Your photos are gorgeous as always. Glad you had a wonderful time!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Olga, you were right, it was wonderful! I thought of you as I wandered the street food fair – you must come and join us next year!

      Reply
  14. Joan Nova

    Was so happy we were able to connect and spend some time together before the gala dinner. Your photographs are the best!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Joan, I’m so glad we ran into one another during the cocktail hour – you ladies were such a vivacious group!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Julie, I was happy to meet you too! I recognized you immediately when I saw you across the aisle at the photo session :)

      Reply
  15. Lindsey

    Every year I see photos from the Food Buzz event and every year I’m jealous! It looks like a wonderful, supportive community and a spectacular event!

    Reply
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