Hi everybody! As we recover from the Holiday season and prep for Valentine's Day, Husband Mic and I made our annual trip to the NASFT Fancy Food Show (winter edition) in San Francisco. It's small enough to take in in one day, but big enough to ensure plenty of aching feet by the time we get home!
This year was made even more fun with the addition of my good friend and fellow cake master, Ruth Drennan! To recap, Ruth was on the very first season of Amazing Wedding Cakes with her shop in New York and we met for the first time this summer at the ICES Convention in San Diego and became fast friends. As it turns out, Ruth and her hubby have just relocated to California (like days before the show) and I am so excited to have her closer where we can team up socially and professionally. And I can't wait to meet her kitty, Gracie!
So, Mic and I met Ruth in the lobby of SF's biggest convetion center, Moscone, and started our long journey through each row. It felt a little more crowded than previous shows which is great but also super tiring. Of course we didn't get far as just around corner number one was our colleague James Roselle!!
As you can see, he was manning the Fondarific booth and we stopped and had a wonderful half hour chat about cakes, the stress of reality TV, and a possible top secret collaboration. *wink wink* We sampled the Fondarific which was quite good and James was nice enough to sneak Ruth and I some samples so we can play with it back in the kitchen. It was such a great surprise to see him there and catch up, but it would've been better about 10 rows over after we got some more walking in! Thanks for hanging out James, we'll see you soon.
We then wound our way through aisle after aisle of cheese and drinks and candy and oh my Lord did we get full! We're veterans at this point, but you still grab so many samples it can get overwhelming fast. Even properly pacing yourself will result in overload! Highlights included see my friends BIll and Angelique from Divine Delights. My very first job out of the culinary academy was decorating their amazing petit fours. Sometimes repetitive jobs like that seem awful, but they teach you a lot about decorating and consistency that's for sure. Of course I ran into lots of familiar vendors and suppliers but we weren't doing business this time, just looking for inspiration and Jelly Belly had this amazing artwork to show off:
There is a lot of cheese at this show and if you know anything about me, you know I adore me some good fromage!! I actually was supposed to go to the show the next day with some of my cheese friends to just sample cheese, but I chickend out with some sore feet and the reality of eating all that dairy! We had a couple really good pieces though and then I spotted a familiar theme in my Merci Beaucoup life, a cheese cake!
In the second half, Mic was in heaven as he found two of his favorite booths. Yes, when you start attending a lot of these things, you develop your favorite places to stop and grab some samples. First was Linda's Latkes, where we snacked down some delicious potato goodness. But second was the Stubb's BBQ truck where we instantly recommend their honey pecan flavor. So good, as my husband's rather greedy pile of beef, chicken, and sausage on his plate would suggest. Silly boy.
There wasn't a lot of sweets in the second hall, but I did find some really good rye bread from Latvia. It's distributed by a company called Storye and is not like the rye you'll find in the grocery store. Tasty stuff.
The big moment was walking down an aisle and suddenly coming across Charm City Cakes. Well, the booth was for Duff's line of cake decorating products, but at the booth was Elena and some others working on a big sculpted seal. Naturally there was a crowd and while they didn't say anything to me, I'm pretty sure they spotted me and whispered to each other. I get that a lot.
Ultimately, I'm kind of shy in these moments, so I didn't say "hello," but It would've been fun to chat to them as I admire their work. I heard the seal was going to have a cake balancing on his nose, but they weren't that far along yet.
By the time we passed Duff's area, we were all getting pretty worn out. Like troopers, we finished the whole hall and stumbled back out into the chilly San Francisco afternoon, plenty of take home samples in our bags for later. Thanks to everyone who said hello and to all our friends and colleagues for a fun day at the Fancy Food Show!!
Merci! - Reva