SF Chefs is back, and the food and cocktail-tastic festival is showing growth: more chances to ogle chefs & good food, more sit down events, and even free farmers' market demos at the Ferry Plaza on Saturdays throughout July. The actual festival takes over Union Square & late night haunts July 28 to August 4. We've found it to be a filling, informational and fun experience and recommend getting tickets for the weekend tasting tents -- so many restaurants under one tent, a food baby is guaranteed to be born.
This year, look for a just announced dinner that has "Girl Power!" written all over it: Chef Nancy Oakes hosts female chefs and sommeliers (with a lead from SPQR's Shelley Lindgren) for a "Masters of Their Craft" seven-course dinner with major vino--tickets are $450 with 40% of ticket sales donated to The Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund, a non-profit organization. Event info is here, and it's a goodie for those who love ladies who cook and make and sell wine for a living.
For a more aromatic and low-to-no budge outdoorsy approach, head to the Ferry Building on Saturdays for the Chef Preview Series, where SF Chefs and CUESA will spotlight Omri Aflalo (Bourbon Steak), Justin Simoneaux (Boxing Room), Maya Erickson (AQ) and David Bazirgan (Fifth Floor).
We love chimichurri but can honestly say we don't know what a Tajima skirt steak is -- Chef Aflalo, please do show and tell (with the added bonus of seeing infused oils in the making). Chef Simoneaux is known for his Southern Louisiana roots, so at his demo, expect questions to fly about gumbo, pig roasts, fish fries and other apps from his trademark Cajun herbaciousness. Chef Erickson may be the Hottest Chef in the City according to Eater SF, but we dig Erickson's history (her-story?): an avant garde approach to desserts that started when she trained as a teen at Citizen Cake. Herbs in pastry is a trend we dig as long as there's no dreaded mint leaf as a garnish. Wrap the SF Chefs demo fun up with a finale from noted Chef Bazirgan, who loves basil so much, it plays a starring role in his restaurant's rooftop garden. Farm to table, just the way we like it.
Where: Various SF locations
When: Saturday, July 6, to Sunday, August 4
Cost: Free to $450