fancy schmancy foodbuzz gala.

by Janetha on November 11, 2010

in meals

i am sure those of you NOT at the festival are getting a tad sick of the recaps. but, i will be honest, i want to capture the experience into blog posts so i can look back and remember the fun i had. sure, it may sound selfish, but i really do use my blog as an online journal—so i hope you don’t mind. and if you do.. just skip this one and know i will be back to regular blogging soon!

saturday after the tasting pavilion, we rolled our full bellies back to the hotel and spent a couple hours chatting, laughing, blogging and exchanging photos. then we spent a solid 23 minutes helping holly determine if she should wear the maternity dress or the stripey dress. fairly certain she also consulted twitter on the matter. in the end, i think she realized that mass amounts of delicious food and wine were about to be consumed, so she went with the maternity attire. good choice, holly, good choice.

once the dress issue was settled, we were ready to head out to the foodbuzz festival gala dinner at the ferry building.

all dolled up and ready to gala-vant! (i stole that one from you, elise.)


shorty in the middle!

danica’s husband was nice enough to drop us off right in front of the ferry building, which was lit up gloriously.


we were greeted with wine from bonny doon vineyard.


and apparently appetizers were being passed, but i was too busy wondering if i was going to die from claustrophobia because we were all packed into the reception area like sardines in a tin can. this is my “i am trying not to freak the flip out” face.


i did manage to snag a couple polenta bites of heaven while talking to monica. one of my favorites.

imageme and moica 2 (source)

group photo!


Mama Pea, Holly, Meghann, Brittany, Cara, Susan, me, Elise, Marci (thanks for letting me copy the already-hyperlinked-names, elise ;)

once the reception hour was over (sigh of relief) we were directed upstairs to find a nice, large, OPEN area where dinner would be served. it was gorgeous.


(source. thanks gabriela, i didn’t have a good shot!)

have you ever seen so many wine glasses on one table?? or forks, for that matter…


i shared a table with monica, marci, elise, holly, susan, suki, gabriela, danica and melissa.


tiff, we see you creepin’!



dinner was presented by the cooking channel.


the menu was very detailed, complete with what wine each dish would be paired with.


not gonna lie, i am not a big wine person. i can’t taste subtle differences or tell you why one would be better with the other. i ended up only drinking the first and second wines, which were both white, and passed on the third (red) and final (dessert) wines.


although i was busy gabbing with monica the WHOLE time, i did manage to eat each course.

me and monica

(source. thanks, tina!)

course one: roasted golden beet tart

crimson beet, feta & currants, wild arugula & basil puree


loved it.

course two: seared scallops with bonny doon vineyard verjus beurre blanc

served with braised fennel and garnished with fried fennel fonds


fennel is one of my favorites and scallops are always a treat, so i really enjoyed this.

course three: rosemary infused rack of lamb

served with local wild mushrooms, pinot noir sauce and butternut squash puree


this was my least favorite course. i wasn’t quite sure how to navigate around the lamb bones. i was wishing i had the vegan option for this course: a mushroom stack! i did enjoy the mushrooms on my plate as well as the puree.

course four: tarta de almendras with oranges

buttery almond cake with orange and spanish sherry sabayon


again, i wish i had the vegan option for this one.. which was a caramelized pear filled with love alongside a medjool date. this dessert just rubbed me the wrong way. i’d never tried a fresh fig until that very wedge you see there, and i was underwhelmed. it was very bland. and that crispy thing you see was peppery cheese, which really didn’t flow with the oranges and cake. oh well, can’t win them all!

finished with a delicious cup of coffee.


foodbuzz and the cooking channel did a great job with the dinner. i have to say i enjoyed last year’s outstanding in the field family style dinner better, but this was a fun, new spin on things.

before and after the meal, i visited a few other tables and snapped some photos with friends.


me & bobbi—i’ve been reading her blog since i started mine!


me & tiff, finally real life friends! hey tiff i love your boots!


oh.. and holly in ryan the girl’s glasses.

after dinner, foodbuzz was hosting a scavenger hunt. we really weren’t into it, so we decided to have a bathroom photo shoot.


we eventually decided to call it a night, i mean.. bathroom photo shoots really take it out of you! we went back to the hotel and piled into holly & elise’s bed until holly started snoring and talking in her sleep.. while rocking the maternity dress in all its glory. that was our cue that it was time to hit the hay.

i promise.. one more post and the recaps will be over. and i also promise i have a new recipe, ready and waiting to be posted!


1. are you a wino? by this i mean.. do you have a knack for pairing wine with food and deciding which wine would be good in a certain situation?

2. are all fresh figs really bland?

xo. janetha g.

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