Date: August 4-August 7, 2011
Place: Union Square, San Francisco
San Francisco’s 3rd annual SF Chefs extravaganza presented by Visa Signature Classic shaped up to be a star-studded event fit for foodies and non-foodies alike. World-class chefs, vintners, brewers, and mixologists from over 32 bay area restaurants, wineries, and breweries were dishing it out in the decadent Union Square Tents.
Saturday’s main festivities included three sold out events: Daytime Grand Tasting and Evening Decadence after Dark held in Union Square Tents, and the Late Night Booze and Bites after party held in the Westin St. Francis Hotel.
Saturday’s casual afternoon Grand Tasting Event was a delectable feast for all of the senses. Among various demonstrations sponsored by Décor cookware, the day’s highlight was a cooking demo from Bravo TV’s Fabio Viviani. Both a Top Chef Season 5 and Top-Chef All-Stars contestant, Fabio spent 45 minutes giving a most engaging presentation, and he even joked, “I’ve been a loser twice!” A true showman, Fabio spent time interacting with the audience, sharing stories, offering priceless cooking advice, and most importantly, showcasing his talent. The cooking demo of his now world-famous gnocchi demonstrated how to “cook with common sense”. As Fabio explained, “Two things are needed for any good cook: good ingredients and good cookware”. At the end of his presentation, Fabio graciously thanked everyone involved with the event. His gnocchi recipe is available on his website, fabioviviani.com.
Saturday daytime tent festivities also featured a decadent variety of bay area restaurants, wineries, and breweries strutting their stuff. Pizza Antica, SPQR, Zare at Fly Trap, Savor, Delfina—just to name a few–all showcased their finest dishes and libations.
The Pom Lounge, San Francisco Magazine Lounge, Illy Lounge, and Infiniti Lounge were perfect spots to retreat, relax, and recharge. The Illy Lounge was host to CBS’s Eye on the Bay Star, Liam Mayclem. Affectionately known as the “Foodie Chap”, Liam conducted interviews throughout the day with virtually every chef involved in this event. Stay tuned on foodiechap.com to see when interviews will air.
Saturaday evening’s “Decadence After Dark” began sharply at 6:30pm. A bustling session it was, as VIP ticket holders appeared within minutes of the doors opening. The Infiniti Lounge featured San Francisco’s own Ryan Scott from Top Chef Season 4. Ryan showcased a feature dish from his San Francisco Restaurant, Brunch Drunk Love.Bites from from Beretta, Aubergine Restaurant, Farralon, Kuleto’s, Ozumo, and Serpentine were just a few highlights of the evening.
Of course, there is nothing like an after-party to cap off the evening. The Late Night Booze and Bites was held at the chic St. Regis hotel. The VIP studded affair featured Top Chef All Stars Winner Richard Blais serving up after-hour bites paired with his liquid nitrogen-Skyy Vodka cocktail creations. Guests also included Fabio Viviani, Ryan Scott, Denis Lee from San Francisco’s Namu, Jen Biestly from Scala and Top Chef Season 4, among many others. Music from DJ Dojah set the stage perfectly for a night of dancing, drinking, and delightful treats.
Saturday’s festivities were a well-balanced blend of a bustling social scene, foodie’s paradise, and live entertainment. If you missed this year’s event, then do not worry. 2012 SF Chefs will be here before you know it, so look out for tickets early.