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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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Teri [a foodie stays fit] November 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

NO, not all fresh figs are bland! There are lots of fig trees in Winston-Salem and they are DEEEELICIOUS. All the ones I tasted in Cali were gross though!


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I just decided that you have by far the best pictures of people at FB. Holly and Elise in all their fierceness…and my ol’ squinty eyes in the picture above it.

When I drink wine, I just drink it. I’m much more of a beer girl in general though, so I could probably pair beer better than wine actually…

Not a huge fan of fresh figs either. They’re not bad, but I don’t understand the obsession!!

Hope you’re having a fantastic end to your week lady!!


Mara @ What's For Dinner? November 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I’m with you on that dessert. My favorite part was the sauce!! I think I managed to un-spam you :)


janae November 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Keep the foodbuzz recaps coming, I love reading and seeing all the pictures about it! P.S. you look gorgeous ‘all dolled up.’ I wish I had more reasons to get fancy:)

Those scallops look amazing!

Where did you get your greenish coat? Oh yeah, and your boots?


Erica D November 11, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Figs (in my book) = ok fresh, better dried, best baked.


purplebirdblog November 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I used to drink a lot of wine, but not as a connoisseur, more as a drunk, lol. Needless to say, I don’t drink at all anymore. :)

I like figs, but they are definitely not my favorite.


Talia @ Texas Gunslinger November 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Ohh Ohh Ohh, I was about to exclaim “YES, I am a wino”, but then realized that to me, red wine goes with evvvvvvverything so I really don’t know the “ins and outs” of wine pairing. I just know that I love red wine and I haven’t had any in over 3 months! OY! But, that will change next weekend as I celebrate my sanity once again:)


Brittany (Eating Bird Food) November 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm

The dessert wine was the best part of the dessert course. It was super sweet, but I like sweet wines so I slurped it up.

I LOVE all your pictures, but I am a tiny sad we didn’t get one together. Next time that will be a must! :)


simplyshaka November 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

The only reason I’m sick of all of the Foodbuzz Blog recaps are selfish–I’m jealous!!

I’ve never had fresh figs before. I think the only fig thing I’ve ever had was Fig Newtons :)

And wine, I don’t know how to pair except the basics (white with seafood, chicken red with beefs) but I am never opposed to cracking open a bottle and seeing if I like it. Even if it’s paired with popcorn.


Susan November 11, 2010 at 7:38 pm

1. Hells no. But when I was 15 I used to drink this stuff called Golden Nut that I’ve only ever seen used as cooking sherry or in the hands of passed out bums.

2. Yes! Okay, I’m no expert, but I’ve tried three varieties now and all of them are blaaaand. I like em best dried. And fig newtons can’t be beat ;)

LOVE that creeper shot of Tiff!!!!


janae November 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

PLEASE keep the foodbuzz recaps coming! I love them! You look gorgeous ‘all dolled up.’ I wish I had reasons to get all fancy:)

Scallops look amazing!

Where did you get your coat and your boots??


inmytummy November 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I like wine a lot but I don’t really know about pairing it with stuff. I only like white wine.


tj November 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Fresh figs are delicious & sweet- when they are ripe! :) I grew up leaning out of the pool to pick them off of the tree in my parents backyard. :) YUM!


Jessica @ How Sweet November 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Not a wino, but I love to drink it!


lindsay November 11, 2010 at 9:36 pm

wino…..I try! I LUVVVVV it!


Sally November 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I totally think that figs are bland, too! To me, they are just randomly sweet, seedy, mushy things. They’re purty, though. Better on the plate than in my tummy :)


Marie November 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm

You guys looked liked you had such a blast! You looked great; I love your dress! :)

I am not much of a drinker; I just never enjoyed the taste of alcohol at all. I remember doing shots while going out with friends because it was the quickest and least amount I had to drink to get a good buzz going. ;) Ahh, good times.

I have had figs once and can’t remember what it tasted like, so I guess I’m not a fan. ;)


Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) November 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I was not a fan of that dessert ever. Blech. I was so drunk though I barely noticed. (Awkward!) I just sang to my tablemates instead.

As for figs, I like the green ones better. Especially with BACON!!!! LOL

Freaking loved your outfit on Saturday night. Too cute!


mom November 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I am not a figger or a wino……

I love hearing all about FoodBuzz – you have some awesome and very beautiful friends!! xoxo


lynn @ the actor's diet November 11, 2010 at 11:08 pm

fresh figs are my fave – and they are definitely hit or miss. when they’re off they are OFF but when they’re good, they’re GLORIOUS


Carbzilla November 11, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Love you boots back, girlfriend!

PS I have zero recollection of that photo or you wearing that dress. Wow. Wine much?


elise November 12, 2010 at 1:10 am

haha…i felt so stupid hyperlinking the 4 of you guys over and over again, but at least it created a shortcut for you i guess.

i didnt have figs in my meal – jealous.

i did the same with the wines, but i think it had less to do with the quality of wine and more to do with the quantity.


edenseats November 12, 2010 at 1:17 am

I did a wine pairing course in culinary school. My verdict: shiraz and PB&J’s are awesome and dry champagne and potato chips are a match made in white trash heaven!
I’m still hoping you next recipe includes some spam.


Jessy (squeezetheday) November 12, 2010 at 1:35 am

Hi Janette, I’ve stumbled upon a fitness/foodie blog about a month ago and along the way I’ve discovered other blogs, including yours, and I must say that it’s one of my favourites! You seem like such a positive, hyper person and I’m really enjoying reading your blog. Just thought I’d leave you a comment now that I’m not just stalking the blogs anymore (as I set up an account just yesterday to be able to subscribe to blogs), lol.


janetha @ meals & moves November 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

Thanks for commenting and reading! By the way.. my name is Janetha :)


Jessy (squeezetheday) November 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

Oops, sorry for the lapsus. :/


janetha @ meals & moves November 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

No worries! Just wanted to make sure you didn’t think it was Janette haha :)


Jessy (squeezetheday) November 12, 2010 at 1:37 am

Oh, and about the figs – I don’t eat them very often (I prefer fruit that tastes more fresh/juicy), but I’ve never eaten a bland fig. They’re always super sweet! :)


MelissaNibbles November 12, 2010 at 6:49 am

I’m not a wino and only like one type…reisling.
The beet dish looks good. I love beets. I also love figs. They’re great on pizza with goat cheese!


Elizabeth November 12, 2010 at 7:22 am

No fresh figs are awesome!! I promise. Nice meeting you last weekend :)


Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) November 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

I love wine, and i love food- so naturally I love pairing them together! But I am working at it, getting better at perfect matches!

and YES, fresh figs can be glorious!!! But the only time I have had glorious, amazing fresh figs is in Italy :( They’re just not the same here!



Freckled Foodie November 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

bah haha. i love that pic of holly and elise. <3 cracks me up. love those boots, too!!! xo.


ihearteggs November 12, 2010 at 9:02 am

LOVE your recaps… I can live vicariously through you!

I’m definitly a wino… well, in the sense I love to drink it. I know nothing about it!


Ash November 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

Looks like you guys had a great time! I love the silly pictures of you guys in the mirror.

On some random notes,
at first I thought that was a huge head of broccoli as the table centerpiece…lol.
And I like the scar on your arm…lol. Pretty awesome although the surgery probably wasn’t.


marlopnwgirl November 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

All you bloggers are so purdy!! Figs! Love figs!!

I am so not a wino. Not even a winer! LOL! I have yet to crave the taste of wine. I need to start with the sweet stuff!


gavrielski November 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

Thanks for the great recap! I am definitely NOT a wine person. I like white wines–mostly Sauvignon Blancs–and that’s about it. I can’t taste subtle differences, and I feel like an idiot when I go wine tasting and I can’t identify the “hints of shoe leather, tobacco, and dirt-on-the-bottom-of-my-shoe.” I’m not sure I want those things in my wine anyway.

I first ate a dried fig last year at this time and it was amazing! I waited with anticipation and eagerness for almost a year for fresh figs to come into season. I had my first fresh fig at my local Farmer Market this summer…and was sorely disappointed. It was awful! Totally bland and with a weird texture. Such a bummer–dried figs are so tasty!


janetha @ meals & moves November 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

hahaha this comment cracked me up!


biz319 November 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Loved the recaps – can’t read enough of them, but just jealous I wasn’t there!

Yes, I am a wino, but I have no idea how to pair wine with food – I always cheat and go on the internet for inspiration!!

Have a great weekend!


Joy R3FitShow November 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I heart scallops!!!


Freckled Foodie November 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

hold up. holly? a maternity dress? lol. confused?

anyway, i’m not a wine person. or a fig person. so i’m pretty much useless :)



kaitlinwithhoney November 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I’m a wino, but not by your definition! I’m a wino in that… I just really love wine. ;) Otherwise, I tend to let other people do the smart stuff with it!


Pure2raw twins November 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Fresh figs are amazing!!! But I will admit I have had some bad batches before…maybe one day I will grow my own.

Loved reading your recap of the dinner ; )



suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] November 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Fresh figs are sweet and DEELICIOUS! :) I didn’t know they were still in season, so I was surprised to see so many during Foodbuzz. I like to cut ‘em in half and top them with goat cheese and honey! Throwing them in the oven with just that = SO GOOD.


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 13, 2010 at 4:37 am

what a lovely time!!! once upon a time, i was a wine snob. not a snob, but just enjoyed tons of diff wines with foods, vineyards, just the whole experience.

i have a child and dont have the time/opportunity to drink like I used to :) but it sure is a fun memory!


Jen November 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

I’m not sick of the recaps, I’m loving reading all of them and planning my trip for next year’s event!! The only figs I’ve ever had are in the form of Fig Newton’s and they are awesome in cookie form ;0



Sara @ Nourish and Flourish November 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I agree with everyone else–keep the recaps coming! They’re inspiring me to begin saving money so that I can go next year. For now though, I’m living vicariously through your experiences. :-)

That roasted golden beet tart looks amazing. And I agree with you about figs…I don’t understand the hype. I think they’re best drizzled with honey and paired with blue cheese. However, I would probably enjoy the honey and cheese more on their own!


GetHealthyWithHeather November 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

What a meal! Looks like another blast of a day. I enjoy red wine the most… white only sometimes.


Danica November 21, 2010 at 8:27 am

I LOVED the beet tart the most and the pic of you/tiff with your boots.

Then again your bathroom photoshoot was AWESOME… :D


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