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Mixologist creating delicious cocktails in the SF Chefs Grand Tasting Tent
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Cooking demonstration at SF Chefs
SF Chefs cooking demo, union square SF
Lovely ripe peaches!
July 13, 2012

An Insider's Guide to SF Chefs 2012

*A Guest Post by the team at SF Chefs            

SF Chefs 2012 - San Francisco’s food, wine and spirits festival returns July 30 – August 5, and we here at the SF Chefs team want to give you an insider’s guide to taking full advantage of all the delicious events!  For the 4th year in a row you’ll have the opportunity to mingle with the Bay Area’s finest chefs, bar stars and wine experts as Union Square is transformed into a culinary wonderland and urban garden party. With our culinary classes, demonstrations, tastings, competitions, parties and Food Arts Industry Series, there’s something for every palate!

The Grand Tasting Tent                         August 3-5

The Grand Tasting Tent is truly the piece de resistance of the whole SF Chefs Experience. Union Square is filled with mouthwatering tastes from the city’s hottest restaurants, innovative handcrafted cocktails prepared by top mixologists and premier wines - all yours for the savoring. Our expert advice – get to your event early (lines do form sometimes), get the lay of the land and peruse all the restaurants, cocktails, wine, beer and other offerings, then plan your attack. Of course, celebrity chef tables tend to be popular, so you might want to grab a bite from a more under-the-radar table before heading over to say, Jenn Biesty’s table (anyone who’s been on Top Chef tends to draw a crowd), so you can nosh while you wait. As an added pat on your back, proceeds from the grand tasting tent benefit the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to low income culinary students. Take a peek at the schedule to see which event fits your tastes best or if you can’t stand to miss one minute, you can buy tickets for the whole weekend.

Saturday Demos at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market   July 14-28

If you want a more hands-on experience, you can get up close and personal with some of your favorite chefs at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this month. This series of demos is hosted by Liam Mayclem of Eye on the Bay (CBS 5) and presented by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Food Network Chef Tom Pizzica will be sharing his recipes for unique lamb dishes that pair wonderfully with SF Brewers Guild beers on July 14th. Then, Francis Ang, Fifth Floor, and Luis Villavelazquez, La Victoria Bakery, will share their wisdom on utilizing stone fruits to compose delectable desserts certain to wow your friends and palate, July 21st.  And to finish the series, you can learn the art of pickling with Wise Sons chefs Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman and Namu Gaji’s Dennis Lee. These preserving geniuses will demystify the Fickle Pickle on July 28th. All demos begin at 2 p.m. and require a reserved ticket.

Dynamic Classes and Demonstrations          August 2-5

If you really want to delve deeper into food technique, the Food Arts Industry Series of demos and classes is for you. From exploring the world of coffee with illy caffe Master Barista Giorgio Milos to Channeling Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to witnessing the Eater Chef Challenge (think Iron Chef meets your favorite SF culinary crowd) you will surely leave with a deeper understanding of food and a full stomach.

The Parties!              August 1- August 4

Socialites will surely want to hit up some of the fabulous food-filled parties we’ll be throwing. If you love Mexican food and tequila, Traci Des Jardins will be hosting A Celebration of Contemporary Mexican Restaurants at Mijita on Aug. 1. The event will feature all the top Latin restaurants in the city, including Tacolicious, Nopalito, Tres and Copita. August 2nd there are two parties: A Party with Pork at EPIC Roasthouse with Jan Birnbaum, and the 49 Square Miles Party where the city’s various neighborhood gems will join together and treat us to a wonderful evening of tastes at the Westin St. Francis. Friday night, you’ll have a chance to dance your booty off and enjoy Asian bites at the Steamed, Fried and Shanghai’d after party at E&O, featuring Chef/DJ Hubert Keller and Chef Arnold Eric Wong. On Saturday night, cocktail enthusiasts will want to come out for Campari’s Late Night Cocktail Adventure, certain to delight your taste buds with well-balanced concoctions and delectable bites.

Whether you’re a food-lover, aspiring Top Chef or cocktail nerd, you’ll find the event that fits your tastes! We’re hungry just thinking about it...