For a week during the peak of every summer, SF Chefs lets Northern California’s top chefs work their magic for food lovers from all over the world at a series of classes, cooking demonstrations, special meals, blind tastings, competitions, panel discussions, gala parties and other wildly popular events throughout San Francisco. Although the much-awaited festival is still a month away, the SF Chefs kickoff party thrown on June 25th on the 36th floor of the Grand Hyatt San Francisco provided a sneak peek at what we can expect to see (and eat and drink) once the official fun begins on July 28.
At the party, restaurants participating in the festival served sweet and savory sips and bites, such as summery tomato-mozzarella skewers from Palio d’Asti, crisp vegetarian samosas from New Delhi and creamy beer floats from Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen. A hungry and thirsty crowd sampled Fernet Branca snow-cones, yuzu tarts and other edible exotica.
With a diverse array of sponsors ranging from Stella Artois to Celebrity Cruises to Rhone Valley Wines to the New Zealand tourist board, this year’s SF Chefs will include events celebrating stone fruits, Iberian wines, Napa Valley cabernets, DIY cocktail mixers, international flatbreads and more. One event mixes music with food as chefs, winemakers, brewers and mixologists discuss the tunes that have inspired them — and then spin those tunes so that guests can dance to them.
SF Chefs co-sponsor Andrew Freeman, CEO of the San Francisco-based Andrew Freeman & Co. hospitality consulting agency, made a special announcement at the party, revealing that this year’s SF Chefs will include a deluxe dinner on July 28, celebrating female chefs and sommeliers. The lavish meal’s dozen-plus creators will include Nancy Oakes of Prospect, Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Gayle Pirie of Foreign Cinema, Jennifer Puccio of Marlowe and Park Tavern, Lori Baker of Baker & Banker, Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions, Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie, Shelley Lindgren of A16 and SPQR, Nissa Suteja of Acquerello, Emily Horenian of Spruce, Jimenez Rivera of SPQR, Nicole Kosta of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Brasserie S&P and many more. A major portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to a local charity.
If you want to enjoy your own SF Chefs sneak peek, a series of Saturday-morning cooking demonstrations featuring Boxing Room‘s Justin Simoneaux, AQ‘s Maya Erickson and Fifth Floor‘s David Barzigan will be held, free to the public, at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market on July 13, 20 and 27.
You can click on each picture to enlarge. Photos courtesy of Kristan Lawson.