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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SF Chefs 2012: The Guide to Boozing

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Endless cocktails inside the tent - HEATHER HUDGEON
  • Heather Hudgeon
  • Endless cocktails inside the tent

SF Chefs, the week-long celebration of the San Francisco food and drink, has taken up residence once again in Union Square. The white tent being draped over an entire city block won't officially open until Friday night, when it will feature dozens of bars and restaurants representing over the course of three days. To plan accordingly, here's our guide to cocktail related guide for classes and demos in and around the tasting tent.

Modern Cuisine with Dave Arnold

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Thurs., Aug. 2nd, 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: Dave Arnold, the Director of Culinary Technology at The International Culinary Center and owner of NYC's innovative Booker & Dax (the bar inside Momofuku Ssäm) will discuss and demo some of the techniques that brought scientific thinking and equipment into the kitchen (remember his burger video?) and the bar. Look for liquid nitrogen-chilled cocktails!

Steamed, Fried and Shanghai'd: The After Party at E&O

Where: E&O Asian Kitchen, 314 Sutter (at Grant), 693-0303

When: Fri., Aug. 3rd, 10 p.m.

Cost: $45, tickets available online

The rundown: Join Liam Mayclem, chefs Arnold Eric Wong and Sharon Nahm for Asian style bites in opening night after party. Chef/DJ Hubert Keller mixes up tunes, while bar manager Carlos Yturria mixes up cocktails to dance and toast the night away.

100 Years Of Chardonnay

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Sat., Aug. 4th, 11 a.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: A chardonnay showdown with a tasting and discussion of the effect the Wente Chardonnay clone has had on the wine industry. Discussion and info about the wines includes panelist Karl Wente (Wente Vineyards), Michael McNeill (Hanzell Vineyards), Randy Caparoso (Bottom Line Wine Editor Sommelier Journal) and Mike Chelini (Stony Hill).

Saturday Afternoon Grand Tasting Demos

Where: Union Square Grand Tasting Tent, main stage

When: Sat., Aug. 4th, 1 p.m.

Cost: Included with Saturday afternoon tasting ticket ($135)

The rundown: Besides the bars scattered throughout the tasting tent, the day includes a host of cocktail and wine demo (often with tastings) including one by Dave Arnold (in case you missed him on Thursday), gin punch demo, Livermore wine country talk (bring your glass), gin seminar with Erick Castro, and a wine and chocolate pairing lesson.

An Afternoon of Tea & Peculiarities

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Sat., Aug. 4th, 4 p.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: Enjoy an afternoon tea the cocktail way led by the always-entertaining Charlotte Voisey of Hendricks Gin. The tea party includes cocktails, finger sandwiches, stories, and cocktails, so bust out your biggest garden party hat.

Discover Portugal Wines

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Sun., Aug. 5th, 10 a.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: A tasting of six Iberian wines from Portugal led by sommelier Eugenio Jardim (Jardinière), with a lecture on what makes the area unique.

Prime Your Palate: Aperitif Cocktails

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Sun., Aug. 5th, 11 a.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: Join spirits writer Camper English and bar stars Neyah White and Brooke Arthur for a seminar on making and serving low-alcohol cocktails with fortified wines, including sherry -- a discussion worth fighting through a hangover for.

An Exploration of Cabernet Sauvignon

Where: The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell (at Geary), 397-7000

When: Sun., Aug. 5th, 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $35, tickets available online

The rundown: A unique opportunity to learn about the Marchesi Antinori Napa Valley collaborations: Col Solare, a joint venture with Chateau Ste. Michelle on Washington's Red Mountain; and Antica Napa Valley, the family's estate on Atlas Peak in Napa Valley. Taste the 2006, 2007 and 2008 vintages of Col Solare (Red Mountain, Washington), Antica Napa Valley (Atlas Peak) and Guado Al Tasso (Bolgheri) side-by-side, and discover how these estate wines are influenced by the Italian producer, that has been making wine in Italy since 1385.

Sunday Afternoon Grand Tasting Demos

Where: Union Square Grand Tasting Tent, main stage

When: Sun., Aug. 5th, 1 p.m.

Cost: Included with Sunday afternoon tasting ticket ($135)

The rundown: Get your last few sips of the festival with H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir leading a punch demo, Charlotte Voisey a gin cocktail demo, a fun sounding beer and cheese seminar, spiced cocktail making with Reza Esmaili, and sip on some wines of Portugal. Then hydrate, take two aspirin, and swear off drinking until next year.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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