Thursday, January 20, 2011

San Francisco Bites

Serendipitously right before I had to catch my red-eye back to Boston from San Francisco my dear friend Corinne Dobbas, RD was scheduled to moderate a panel of Foodbuzz food bloggers in an event at the San Francisco Public Library. After meeting Corinne’s mother and Swiss Grandmama in the lobby, we headed into the auditorium to listen to what these bloggers had to say about the SF Food scene. Joining Corinne was Iso Rabins (@forageSF) Sabrina Modelle (@thetomatotart) and Alder Yarrow (@vinography)

Rabins forages for wild foods throughout the Bay Area and also runs an underground kitchen called the Wild Kitchen which specializes in 8-course meals that feature all-foraged dishes. He is also the founder of the Underground Market, something Janet Gardner had mentioned to me over weekend, which sounds fantastic! It’s a place for small-scale producers of food and other goods to sell their wares without worries about licensure, etc. It can be a jumping off point for a small food business. His food philosophy is best summed up as “Experimentation equals discovery” and he strives to experiment in all things food.

Alder Yarrow of says that “Life is too short to drink bad wine” and “small is beautiful” His wine blog features small producers of wine

Sabrina Modelle is a relatively new food blogger at The Tomato Tart, and as a first generation French-American she has a rich food history. She believes the food is truly social and loves to try new foods, and ask other people (often strangers in restaurants) about what they are eating. She had some amusingly rich stories about the wonderful encounters that have occurred this way.

All four panelists reflected on the fact that the west coast is blessed with people who are willing to try new things. There is lots of available fresh fruit and vegetables year-round. People’s palates are relatively sophisticated and since most know what they are talking about, there are many opportunities for niches to pop up.

Sabrina and Alder talked about how the story behind food is really important. Our brains are wired to remember stories, so it makes food more meaningful. I could not agree more! I could spend my entire life reminiscing over meals if I wanted to. Some of my fondest memories include everything from piling ketchup onto Irish Patsy's in my grandmother’s home in the mining town of Butte, Montana to being surprised on my 17th birthday by my Thai peers in Bangkok with a Korean Hot Pot. But even more than I love food, I love talking with people about food and hearing their stories

Other random tips from the conversation: I am DYING to try Sudachi-a Japanese lime that apparently taste nothing like a lime, instead has hints of white pepper and chili.

Alder said the best places to get inexpensive wine, that are actually decent, are TJ and Cost Plus

Thank you Foodbuzz and the fantastic panel for putting on this event!

The Dobbas Family!

The SF Public Library has a exhibition on display now called San Francisco Eats, and is also hosting several other food-related events in the upcoming events. If you are in the area I highly recommend you check them out!

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

The panel sounds really interesting. Sounds like you had a blast in San Francisco! The West Coast has such a fabulous eating culture. Always something new to learn about or experiment with!