Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SF Chefs 2011 Grand Tasting Event: POM Wonderful Report

SF Chefs 2011 Grand Tasting Event

How fortunate I was to be chosen by POM Wonderful as one of the lucky eight to receive tickets to this esoteric event. With over thirty restaurants offering their tasty temptations and a huge number of wineries, breweries and mixologists shaking up their creations, I came home with not only a full stomach but also a bag full of goodies, like POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, Fiji water, Illy-issimo coffees, wine and beer glasses, cushioned wine bottle carriers, business cards, recipes and menus. All this goodness aside I gained many new connections, even with some I've admired for quite some time and am inspired by!

The Luscious POM Wonderful Lounge

POM Wonderful Snow Cones (I tasted the POM Lemon Chili Basil Syrup flavor!)

POM Wonderful Girls Vanessa, Jen and Yvette

There was a whole lot of oinkin' going on, with both the pork dish offerings from many of the food vendors, like the braised Berkshire pork cheeks from Prospect Restaurant, as well as with the huge crowds that grazed from table to table. Other popular items on quite a few of the menus was a variety of fish and seafood plates, most memorable for me was the Peruvian-flavored tuna with cucumber and halibut with red onion ceviches from La Mar, also a bite or two of some red meats including lamb and beef. Not leaving out any vegetarians there was hearty helpings of spiced tofu from The Slanted Door and roasted beet quinoa over greens to keep them happy too. To tackle those with a sweet tooth you could snack on simple fresh Driscolls berries paired with Kerrygold's cheese, a decadent vanilla bean panna cotta with cake and nectarines or my favorite where California Olive Ranch and The Girl and The Fig paired up sharing a cup of chocolate sauce, whipped cream with sea salt and drizzled with a fruity olive oil.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner served a traditional tender pork and beans plate

Top Chef Jennifer Biesty put together an inspired seared white fish, cherry tomato, fried artichoke and lemon sauce plate

Chefs Veronica and Christopher Laramie, the power couple plated up their octopus, pearl melon, cucumber and noodle with fennel pollen plate

Cliff House spooned up a halibut crudo, cucumber, dried strawberry with lemon verbena bite

Foodnetwork's Aida Mollenkamp was the Emcee at the demonstration station

Chef and author Sally James mixed up some of her specialty cocktails

Kenneth in the Illy-issimo tent provided coffee drinks for those that needed a wake-up call from all the good eats

I want to thank POM Wonderful from the pit of my stomach for providing me with this experience, the flavors will remain on my palate for a life time!

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