**Guest Post By Rob Black, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA)
Loosen your belts because SF Chefs, San Francisco’s Food, Wine & Spirits Festival, is taking over Union Square! This year marks the fifth anniversary of the festival, which was conceived as a celebration of San Francisco as the epicenter of culinary inspiration. Over 200 of San Francisco’s most esteemed chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, food journalists and other experts will come together for this unforgettable week. SF Chefs is an incredible opportunity for local foodies and tourists alike to partake in the best of SF’s food scene.
The Grand Tasting Tent on Union Square will feature four unique Grand Tastings, each hosted by a different group of chefs, mixologists, and wineries. It’s an all-you-can-savor culinary experience unlike any other. For out- of-towners, it’s an opportunity to try food from over 30 different acclaimed Bay Area restaurants at each Grand Tasting. For locals, it’s the perfect way to sample and build your “To Dine at Next” list of restaurants. (Insider’s Tip: Purchase the VIP Weekend Pass for the best value)
On Friday Night after the Grand Tasting Tent closes, those of us who like to party will head over to E&O Asian Kitchen for what has become an SF Chefs tradition, the Friday Night After Party. This year San Francisco magazine is host and the party will honor the Best Chefs of the magazine’s food issue. On Saturday, Celebrity Cruises and Washington State Wines are taking us on a late night voyage by way of Bluestem Brasserie. (Insider tip #2: Our parties typically sell out, so buy your tickets now.)
One of the things I think makes SF Chefs so special is the opportunity to engage with your favorite chefs, like Tyler Florence, Dominique Crenn, Chris Cosentino, Nancy Oakes, Charles Phan, Martin Yan and so many more. This happens in the Grand Tasting Tent, but also in the wide range classes and demos that we offer. You won’t want to miss two very exciting demos, Regional Devotion, featuring award-winning Chefs Michael Tusk and Sean Brock and A Modern Pairing, with Chef Charles Phan serving his signature Vietnamese flavors paired with Stella Artois.
As Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, I love my work supporting the business owners who make up the bulk of our restaurateurs in the Bay Area. I am proud that we count so many women in those numbers. This year, SF Chefs will celebrate their talent with a very special dinner, Masters of their Craft: Celebrating the Great Female Chefs and Sommeliers of San Francisco this Sunday July 28th. The lineup of top chefs was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer and Miriam Morgan and will be led by host Nancy Oakes (Prospect). The seven-course dinner will be paired with wines hand-selected by some of the Bay Area’s most skilled female sommeliers, led by A16 and SPQR’s Shelley Lindgren. It promises to be an extraordinary evening.
See you on the Square!