Foodbuzz Festival

November 16, 2011

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November 3rd weekend, I flew out from Austin to San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival. Being a featured publisher with Foodbuzz for an year now, I figured I should attend the Foodbuzz Festival. It was my first time in San Francisco and the Foodbuzz Festival so I was extremely overwhelmed and torn between sightseeing and networking with other bloggers and companies. I did meet many wonderful bloggers, some of which I follow and finally got to meet in person and some new people! I took over 1000 pictures in my 4 days there so I’ve been procrastinating on this post because I wasn’t sure how to organize my trip. This post will be dedicated to the Foodbuzz related events and then I’m going to split up the rest of my trip by restaurants.

To learn more about Foodbuzz, visit their website at www.foodbuzz.com.

The flight was around 3 hours with an one hour layover at LA. The most convenient way to get from SFO to downtown SF is to take the BART. It’s about 45 minutes and around $8.

I stayed in a condo located in the Hyde Street and O’Farrell St area, which is basically smack dab in middle of downtown. Thankfully I’m a heavy sleeper so the city noise didn’t bother me a bit.

I did bring an empty luggage bag because I knew I was going to do some hardcore shopping. Last time when I went to Hong Kong I had to buy a luggage there to bring back all the goodies I bought.  This time I ended up taking up a whole luggage full of products and food from the Foodbuzz Festival.

The weather in SF was a shock to me. I knew it was going to be cold.. but not like 50 degrees cold. I grew up in Texas, where anything under 70F is cold. I ended up not wearing any of the dresses, shorts, and high heels I brought. Thank goodness for H&M!

My eyes were literally glowing when I got to downtown SF but that worn off after the first day. There’s some streets that are clean and classy (around Union Park Square) and others that are dirty and dangerous.

Everything is in walking distance which got the better of me. I walked all around downtown, to Chinatown, to Fisherman’s Wharf, back to downtown. I did take the cable car once, it was my first time! It’s a thrilling way to view the city.

Foodbuzz Morning Sessions.

Featured Panel Discussion

Featured Sarah Matheny (Peas and Thank You), Jessica Merchant (How Sweet It Is), Joy Wilson (Joy the Baker), Tracy Benjamin (Shutterbean), and Kath Younger (Kath Eats Real Food). Wonderful ladies that taught us how to take our blog to the next level.

Tip #1: Hire a professional to design your banner, it’s the first thing people look at. (which reminds me.. I should really redo mine…)

Camera Basics: Moving Away from Auto Mode.

Featured Ashley McLaughlin (the edible perspective).

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom. 

Featured Marc Matsumoto from No Recipes taught us how to make good photos great by using Adobe Lightroom.

I had no idea Marc was speaking at the conference. I’m a huge fan of his blog and his food pictures. I had to ask for a picture with him 🙂

Taste Pavillon.

More than 60 food and beverage providers shared their goodies with us at the City View at the Metreon. I gained like 5 pounds here. These are just some of the companies that I visited, to see more visit my Facebook page. 

TCHO makes some of the most amazing chocolate. It’s San Francisco based company is a chocolate factory. It’s a new kind of chocolate company for a new generation of chocolate enthusiasts. On the bottom right picture is pure chocolate that is melted into hot chocolate. It’s amazing how they have chocolate that taste just like fruit. 

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479 Popcorn is a San Francisco based kitchen that follows the artisan tradition of creating food by hand, popping premium organic corn in small batches and creating distinctive flavors from scratch, 
using the finest organic ingredients available. They have amazing flavors like Fleur de Sel Caramel and Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar!

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Sargento is a family own cheese company that makes 100% natural cheese.

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Godiva makes one of the most delicious coffee blends that are roasted 100% Arabica coffee beans for a rich, smooth taste. Try their holiday flavors Peppermint Mocha and Chocolate Truffle! I was so happy the meet the representatives who said they know my blog, A Taste of Koko 🙂

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Mission Minis are gourmet mini cupcakes baked fresh daily in San Francisco. They spoiled us with pumpkin, vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, and red velvet. I’m not going to lie… I had one of each. Look at that frosting, it was creamy and light at the same time.

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Three Twins ice cream is an inconceivably delicious organic brand. They source our dairy from organic farms within 17 miles of their factory and their goal is to make organic stuff accessible.
I actually ate one container at the Taste Pavillon and snuck another one through airport security to eat on the plane ride home. When Neal, one of the twins, emailed me I nearly had an heart attack. I thought American Airlines was emailing me to tell me I violated their security policies. Long story short, their ice cream is good and it’ll be located in every Whole Foods soon!

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Ticings are peel & press customizable edible images that apply to almost any soft-frosted dessert for
an instant decoration. I had randomly picked up one of their brownies and was just about to devour it when several people came up to me asking for pictures. They thought I had made the brownies myself because it matched my scarf..

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Nana Mae’s Organics, a small family farm, growing and showcasing some of Sonoma County’s most beautiful fruit, heirloom apples, pears, berries & quince


Estancia has ranches in the United States, Argentina, and Uraguay, where their produce the highest quality pasture-raised, grass-fed beef in the world.

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Tyler Florence with ALEXIA. 
We got to sample a delicious variety of Alexia’s gourmet-inspired sides and breads, including Sweet Potato Puffs, Onion Rings, Salt & Pepper Crinkles, Garlic Baguette, Ciabatta Rolls and Focaccia Rolls. I’ve always been a fan of Alexia products but I had no idea that their spokesperson was Tyler Florence. It was pleasure getting to meet him in person!

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Gala Dinner Sponsored by Alexia Foods.

The dinner started off with a live cooking demo by Tyler Florence on stage and then a delicious dinner!

Starter Salad. 

Bibb Lettuce Salad with Honey Roasted Pears,
Glazed Pecans, and Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette.

Brandt Beef Farms Filet Mignon

With Meyer Lemon Roasted Prawns, Heirloom Carrots, Celery Root Purée and a Peppercorn Demi.

San Francisco Trio 

Sourdough Bread Pudding, Cowgirl Creamery Cheesecake, and Scharffen Berger Chocolate Mousse

I look terrible in this picture but I had to get one with Ann from RunningWithChopstix We went to college together!
To finish off the night, I got interviewed by Alexia Foods to share my favorite product, their Sweet Potato Fries! 
I can’t wait for next year’s Foodbuzz Festival! I will be writing about my visit to Tartines, Bi-Rite Creamery, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street and more!


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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