It’s the MOST wonderful time…of the year! No, I’m not confused, I know it’s July in San Francisco. I’m just excited because SF Chefs 2011 is only two weeks away!
When I became Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association this spring, I was very excited about my new role – and not just because I love to eat! The GGRA’s membership is comprised largely of small business owners - chefs and restaurateurs who are passionate about what they do and generous with their time and talents. There is no better example of this than SF Chefs 2011, San Francisco’s premier food, wine and spirits festival. Over 200 of San Francisco’s finest restaurants have come together to showcase our city as the epicenter of culinary innovation. It’s going to be a great party and I hope many of you will join us.
A fun new program that we spearheaded this year is the Eye on the Bay’s SF Chefs Preview Series, presented by Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. If the Grand Tasting Tent is the feast - this series is the appetizer. Set amidst the bustle of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and hosted by our pal Liam Mayclem of Eye on the Bay (CBS 5) and Foodie Chap (KCBS) these intimate classes and demos are meant to give guests a taste of what SF Chefs is all about. This weekend we have Pastry Chefs Luis Villavelazquez (Les Elements, previously of Orson, Citizen Cake & Absinthe) & William Werner (Tell Tale Preserves) who will demonstrate summer sweets that highlight peaches at their prime. Next up will be a Salumi Pairing class with Chefs Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Paul Canales (formerly of Oliveto) and the San Francisco Brewer’s Guild. We’ll also have a tequila class with cocktail experts Scott Beattie (Spoonbar) and Eric Rubin (Tres Agaves). There’s more info and tickets here.
For the second year, restaurants all over San Francisco will gear up for the main event on Union Square by participating in SF Chefs Restaurant Week, which is particularly close to my heart. Participating restaurants will offer two-course lunch menus at $20 and three-course dinner menus for $30. It’s the perfect excuse to try a new restaurant! Check out the list of participating restaurants and dine away.
The main event, of course, is the Grand Tasting Tent on Union Square. We have four unique Grand Tastings which will each feature a different group of chefs, wineries and entertainment. It’s an incredible display of culinary talent that I feel so lucky to be a part of this year. It’s a foodie’s fantasy to wander through the tent not only tasting generous samples from our finest restaurants, but also mingling with the chefs, winemakers, mixologists and other culinary superstars who will be in attendance. Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to enjoy the good life with us you should reserve a spot soon.
Golden Gate Restaurant Association | Executive Director