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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday Night: Taste

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 11:07 AM

click to enlarge tastesnail.jpg
(Click on the picture for a full Taste slideshow.)

Slow Food Nation's Taste Pavilions

Fort Mason Center

August 29, 2008

Review and Photos by Tamara Palmer

Slow Food Nation's Taste Pavilions were the hot culinary ticket in town this weekend, with all four tasting sessions sold-out in advance (and at $65 a pop, not including the additional cost of actually tasting the food and drink).

Friday's Taste was a special preview for special people, including the architects that built the individually themed pavilions which were dedicated to pleasures such as bread, meat, cheese, chocolate, olive oil, seafood and spirits. Their contribution was an unexpected delight, crafting a culinary playground that perfectly highlighted the artisan creations, whether the summer picnic motif of the jam and honey pavilion, the puffy white couches and pastel pillows of the ice cream wonderland or the buoyant umbrellas framing the cocktail area.

The evening's exclusivity was confirmed with an early spotting of Mayor Newsom in the beer pavilion. As he shuffled off towards the main hall, I hustled my way after him, intent to ask what he was looking forward to eating, but then quickly realized that chasing after him might actually be considered stalking. Besides, food was the star of this show.

Tasting plates were typically small and artful, a smart way to help keep patrons from overindulging and filling up before covering all of the pavilions. Areas were also strategically ordered so that one could nibble on an umeboshi plum or an open-faced mortadella sandwich before the cocoa nibs and sorbetto.

But since tasting is most fun when it is shared with friends, I leave you with two video shorts with which to take a few vicarious bites of what was on offer at this tantalizing showcase.

A taste of honey:

A taste of chocolate:

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Tamara Palmer


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