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G9 Insider: SF Chefs 2012

July 31, 2012

For Gamma Nine, August means SF Chefs is here. With a few years of photographing and being behind the scenes of this event, here’s some retrospective, mixed in with some previews of this year’s events, and tips on how to make the most of the amazing week.

The most obvious feature of SF Chefs is the Grand Tasting Tent. 24,000 square feet of San Francisco’s top culinary scene, right smack in the middle of Union Square and tent’ed for your gastronomical pleasure. You’ll be face-to-face with chefs and restauranteurs who will hand you amazing bites from the dining establishments you love, the places you’ve been meaning to try, and hidden gems that’ll become new favorites. And you can pair that with tastings of  wines, spirits, cocktails, beer, and other gourmet beverages. You’ll also get to feed your brain with classes and demos by chefs, mixologists, and other connoisseurs, so make sure to check the website and program book to see what’s happening at the demo stage and classroom during each tasting session.

Once you’re in the Grand Tasting Tent, skip your morning/afternoon/evening coffee from Starbucks/Peets/wherever and just find the Illy area inside the tent, which hopefully will be a whole corner again this year. They’ll have bountiful coffee for you to get your caffeine fix. Word of warning, though: once you’ve had their ‘issimo‘ canned drinks, other off-the-shelf coffee-based drinks (e.g. the ones that come in a glass bottle from that popular coffee chain) might just taste like sugar water.

Just across the street from the tent experience is the Westin St. Francis, where SF Chefs takes over the conference rooms and sets up classrooms and a demo/competition kitchen to offer even more classes and demos. (These are ticketed separately, so be sure to buy online beforehand or have a credit card to pay the day-of).  Don’t forget the sessions in the ‘Industry Series‘, where  you can get an exciting peek into the world of the restaurant industry with panels and classes led and attended by true insiders.

The sleeper hit last year was the Chef’s Challenge. Your favorite chefs let their guard down as they cook in a fast-paced challenge to create some amazing dishes right before your eyes. You get to see the chefs in action as they deal with the pressure, explain their processes to the judges and audience, and best of all, give each other a hard time like the old friends that they are. In the audience, you might even literally find yourself sitting next to a Top Chef!

This year the competition has expanded to a multi-round challenge sponsored by Eater SF.  The who’s-who of chefs competing is a list of culinary heavy-hitters (David Bazirgan of Fifth Floor, Mark Dommen of One Market, Anthony Strong of Locanda, Omri Aflalo of Bourbon Steak, Hoss Zare of Zare at Fly Trap, Jen Biesty of Scala’s Bistro, Brandon Jew of Bar Agricole, and Staffan Terje of Perbacco) and we highly recommend you go to at least one if not all of these challenges.

After all that, there are still the parties. If you put San Francisco’s top restauranteurs, beverage purveyors, and mixologists together, don’t you think they’ll know how to have a good time?  Best. Parties. Ever.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. почивки permalink
    August 7, 2012 2:47 am

    Ресторанта изглежда много добре и доста посещаем. Снимката, на сградата е уникална, интересен подход на снимане леко като лупа.


  1. G9 Insider: 9 Events Not to Miss at the 2013 SF Chefs | Gamma Nine: Viewfinder

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