Five Top Chef alums gathered at Saturday’s afterparty at the St. Francis.
It was a long weekend of binging, boozing, party-hopping and tent-wandering for a good number of local food addicts and industry folks, and this year’s S.F. Chefs seems to have come off without a hitch — or too much broken glassware. We had some delicious porky bites (the Pork Board was a sponsor this year), including a swell porchetta sandwich from Delfina and a heavenly pork-lemongrass sausage from Betelnut, and about two dozen lovely cocktails before all was said and done (most of them were very small). And when everyone’s favorite heavily accented Top Chef alum, Fabio Viviani, started throwing gnocchi at the crowd during his cooking demo on Saturday, we managed not to get pelted. Click through for our slideshow of highlights, and say a little prayer for our livers.
Things kicked off Thursday night with the Sugar & Spice party, which brought together some savory chefs with a bevy of pastry chefs in the top floor ball rooms at the Westin St. Francis.
Pastry chef Lincoln Carson made our favorite sweet bite of the weekend – these chocolate treats spiced with ras el hanout and coated in a crisp wrapper of caramelized sugar.
Pastry chef Bill Corbett made this fantastic little cardamom ice cream float with burnt honey soda.
Joseph Humphrey, who’s opening a restaurant somewhere in S.F. (we believe Union Street) sometime in the near future called Dixie, only offered this dish as a possible clue of what he’ll be up to at the new place: seared squid with sumac and compressed melon.
Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, local chefs and food dignitaries gathered to cut this skyline cake, made by Baker & Banker.
There were about a dozen different cocktails to try during each day/night in the tent, but we were kind of partial to this carbonated White Lady that H. Joseph Ehrmann created, with Cointreau, gin, and lemon and a hand-carbonating system involving these capsules and an air compressor.
Chef Robbie Lewis created this excellent deep-fried bite: Pork & Corn Scrapple with Romano Beans, Basil and Spiced Strawberry.
Farallon chef Ryan Simas.
Murray Circle chef Justin Everett
Everett prepared this tiny bites of goose liver pate, topped with a fruity mustard.
The Plymouth/Beefeater gin booth, featuring brand ambassador Erick Castro (left) and booze writer Camper English (center).
The tent got really, really busy on Saturday night.
Fifth Floor chef David Bazirgan, and One Market chef Mark Dommen.
These gals were fun, and one of them did a mean Michael Jackson…
Flour + Water chef Thomas McNaughton.
Reza Esmaili, bar star and current free agent, was mixing up a drink with Plymouth gin, black cherry, and citrus.
Suntory/Yamazaki Japanese whiskey ambassador Neyah White pulled out his make-your-own-Old-Fashioned bar trick, which he did at SF Chefs 2009, and he hand-carved these huge ice cubes individually in order to get them to fit in peoples’ plastic tumblers.
From left: Ryan Robles and Joshua Oakley of Bar Bambino; Brock Keeling of SFist.com; Citizen Cake/Orson chef-owner Elizabeth Falkner; and Tablehopper Marcia Gagliardi.
Chef Ed Vigil made a very delicious and comforting pork ragu with sweet corn polenta.
Chef Matt Accarrino pours soup shots.
Martin Yan, pioneering TV chef and owner of the upcoming M.Y. China at the Westfield, mugged for the camera.
Chef Adam Carpenter with his sausage bites.
These smoked-trout Reuben canapes were the bomb.
Chef Staffan Terje made this light bite of pork loin with summer vegetables.
The always gregarious Fabio Viviani showed the crowd how to make hand-rolled gnocchi, and then he started throwing them at the audience. Hilarity ensued.
We had five of ‘em in town, and here they were at Saturday night’s afterparty. From left: Mattin Noblia, Fabio, Jen Biesty, Ryan Scott, the great Richard Blais, and Golden Gate Restaurant Association chair Rob Black.