Dear FoodBuzz Festival,
Like Betty White, you just keep getting better with age! In 2010, you introduced me to a Korean "taco" made with seaweed and kalbi short rib. In 2011, you made sure I could never enjoy grocery store ice cream again by introducing me to the marvel that is Three Twins Ice Cream. Okay, who am I kidding? I will still eat grocery store ice cream, ice cream truck ice cream, street vendor ice cream, and really, any other kind of ice cream. But I will forever measure it against Three Twins Ice Cream. Your 2012 Festival was even more spectacular. Here are some standouts that were too good:
1) Alaska Seafood truly convinced me that wild seafood is the way to go! The halibut in red curry sauce was cooked perfectly. The crab cakes were actually delicious, delicious crab instead of filler. And their people were just so genuine. They talked about sustainability and resource management with such passion and conviction, it was clear they weren't just marketing folk but real people who were passionate about Alaskan seafood.
2) Mission Minis is still awesome and their mini cupcakes still rock. I definitely ate more than my fair share of cupcakes. So many in fact, even the super cute kid at your booth was forced to ask, "Were you here before?" No, no I wasn't. And what's it to you anyway, you particularly observant child?
3) Biscuit Bender. Let's be real. If I'm going to on any type of bender, it will most certainly involve biscuits. Specifically, their pumpkin chocolate chip ones. Oh, and my bender will undoubtedly involve heavy smears of their many spreads, including apple butter and espresso butter.
4) Nature Box is a service that delivers a fancy box of healthy snacks to your doorstep every month. From delicious spiced nuts to crunchy fruit granola, each box is filled with tasty surprises. And yes, I'm still a bit bummed that little man has eaten almost the entire bag of dried apricots I received in my Nature Box.
5) Wallaby Organic Greek Yogurt tastes like ice cream. I know it sounds blasphemous but I think my love of ice cream is fairly well documented and when I say this yogurt tastes like ice cream, you pretty much gotta take my word for it. If they made a version with caramel sauce on the side, I may never go back to real ice cream again.
6) Madecasse is a chocolate company committed to not only farming cocoa but actually making fine chocolate in Madagascar. As a result, they are able to generate four times the amount of revenue for the farmers and manufacturers in Madagascar than farming fair trade cocoa alone. So you're actually contributing to development every time you eat their fantastic sea salt and nibs chocolate.
7) The Golden Gate Bridge. I used to live in the city and would come visit the bridge all the time. And yet, the sight of the bridge still gives me goosebumps. Walking across the bridge is a fantastic way to spend time between events, checking out the city in the distance, and burning off those extra cupcake calories. Okay, so I'd probably have to walk across the bridge eighteen times to burn off all my cupcake calories but I have no regrets!
8) The California Academy of Sciences makes for a fantastic venue for the gala dinner. Giant stuffed giraffes. A huge aquarium. Jelly fish. I dare you not to fall in love with this place.
9) An evening gala filled with fantastic party food and an overwhelmingly assortment of desserts. Allowing a +1 at the Festival was a fantastic idea. This was the first year FoodBuzz let you buy a ticket for a significant other and boy am I glad I convinced the hubster to come along because mamma needed an extra set of hands for all the eating. Now if only I could figure out some way to use his stomach too.
10) Swag Bags are still awesome! It has been a long time since I went to a party where I received a party favor bag. And that makes me a bit sad. The conference swag bag is a fun party favor bag for adults. And gosh am I glad.