Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SF Chefs. Food. Wine. Urban BBQ


One of my interests is attending free events for free stuff. I was privileged to volunteer for the Saturday evening event of the premier SF Chefs. Food. Wine. weekend that took place from Thursday, 8/6, to Sunday, 8/9, at Union Square of Downtown San Francisco. For $95, you get to sample urban/BBQ foods from over 25 chefs, as well as cocktails and wines. Hmm... yes, volunteering is a free ticket.

I chose to volunteer with the SF Bay Area chapter of OneBrick, a volunteer organization that lets you volunteer with no strings attached. I dressed business casual as they requested, but realized that I had to wear the event t-shirt over my top anyway. So much for business casual. I understand it though; they want to be able to differentiate the volunteers from attendees. I was intially assigned to the Guest Services booth, and I found two other volunteers at the booth when I showed up. Obviously, they had more than enough volunteers! Barely anyone stopped by for questions, except for "where is the bathroom?" I was switched over to passing out wine glasses at the entrance (the assigned volunteers were taking an hour break), so that was more productive. When the other volunteers came back, I decided to take my break! Since other volunteers were doing it, and only about 500 people attended the event (compared to the expected 800), I decided to sample some foods and cocktails myself!

The following items are my favorites:

"Pulled salmon" sandwiches with pico de gallo and spinach
This booth served both pulled pork and pulled salmon sandwiches. The salmon sandwiches were awesome! It's easy to overcook salmon, but the salmon here wasn't dry or tough, but tender and juicy. It was served in some sort of mayonnaise, and the pico de gallo made it taste very fresh! This was my favorite sandwich.

Sweet and tangy whipped cream dessert
This was my favorite sweet dessert. It was a duo taste of sweet and tangy (maybe sour cream was used?) over a mini chocolate cake. It was sweet dessert heaven for me, because it was sweet enough but not too sweet (no instant cavities here)!

Sweet crab chowder with pesto oil
This was my first time I tried crab chowder, and it was good. Unfortunately, the soup was a bit too salty for my taste (the flavors probably got stronger while sitting for awhile). Nonetheless, the crab was very tender and moist! The pesto oil added a touch of color to the usual frothy color of chowder. This was a good soup!

Pork ribs with a sweet honey-ginger sauce
These were my favorite ribs, as they were literally fall-off-the-bone delectable goodness! Very moist, tender and juicy with a sweet and savory sauce. I'm glad that they served two ribs per plate, or else I would have went back to get another one.

Ahi tuna salad on fried wonton wrappers
This was my favorite appetizer! I remember trying a layered ahi tuna salad on fried wanton wrappers as an appetizer at a restaurant in Honolulu called "Top of Waikiki." This reminded me of that. The ahi tuna was delicate, and instead of the wasabi taste I was expecting, it was sweet and savory! The tuna was mixed in with some Mexican ingredients, such as black beans and pico de gallo. Talk about Asian-Mexican fusion.

Silver Moon Mojito Ice sorbet
This tops everything I sampled. I have found a new reason to enjoy frozen desserts! This sorbet was minty and limey, and I loved how it just melts in your mouth! I savored every scoop of this dish, and I had to get seconds. I wonder what glaze they used above the sorbet; it was sweet like honey. Plus, the flower bowl is very cute!

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I did taking them. I was so excited to try out so many yummy foods! My tastebuds are still tingling from the bold flavors!

Happy good eats to everyone during the summer!

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