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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh, Snap! The Best San Francisco Food Photos of 2010

Posted By on Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM

San Francisco's culinary landscape is an ever-changing one, and this past year was no exception. Scores of restaurants opened and closed, events were thrown, and new chefs stepped into the spotlight. Here are some of the most arresting images SF Weekly and SFoodie captured in 2010.

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

Jonathan Kauffman opened his review of Benu by musing that his plate (above) looked as if it had been arranged by a fairy, and the arresting images of the restaurant's offerings seem to support this theory.

In Kitchen Ink photographer Joseph Schell captured portraits of some of the city's notable chefs showing off their tattoos. Pictured below are Jamie Lauren, former executive chef at Absinthe, and Universal Cafe chef Rean Taylor.

JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell

JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell

In 2010, new food carts seemed to roll into town about as fast as new Off the Grid events were organized. On Fridays (after nearly a year of work and negotiations with city officials and community organizations by Matt Cohen, working with La Cocina), food trucks began amassing at Fort Mason Center for the first Off the Grid. Gil Riego Jr. was on the scene for its final installment of the season last month.

GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.

The ramen so beloved in other cities was scarce in San Francisco, until the great tonkotsu wave of 2010 began to change that. Read more about the phenomenon in "The cult of tonkotsu ramen is taking over San Francisco."

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

This year's Eat Real Fest in Oakland played host to over 80 vendors, urban homesteading demonstrations, readings, music, and a steer butchery contest. View more photographs (not all rife with gore!) in Eat Real Fest in Oakland.

JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell

The craft of noodle-making reached artistic heights at San Dong House, where production of the hand-pulled version looked like some kind of advanced cat's cradle. Read more in "At San Dong House, go for the hand-pulled noodles."

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

Cafe Des Amis delivered mixed results to guest critic Matthew Stafford, faring best when reinventing tried-and-true French classics. Read more in "Cafe des Amis reinvents some French culinary classics," and view more images in "French Dip: The Cuisine of Cafe Des Amis."

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

Robyn Sue Goldman was kind enough to cart her invention, the Kelvin, into the SF Weekly offices. It's a device that a liquid nitrogen ice cream maker capable of freezing a batch in 60 seconds. Read more about Goldman and her Kelvin in "Smitten With Robyn Sue Goldman."

GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.

GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.

Founded in the summer of 2009, SF Food Wars invites entrants to show off their cooking skills and throw down at themed competitions. The shot below was taken at the Pie or Die installment (where no one died, but everyone ate pie.)

TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer

This year saw a glut of pizza spots opening in San Francisco, from Zero Zero, to Ragazza to Una Pizza Napolatana. This image is from the latter, helmed by New York refugee Anthony Mangieri.

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

Richie Nakano was a sous chef at Nakano before striking out on his own with Hapa Ramen, a roaming noodle outpost. Read more about Nakano and feast your eyes on more images in "Richie Nakano, Ramen Renegade."

GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.

GIL RIEGO JR.
  • Gil Riego Jr.

When the management team behind venerable Boulevard decided to branch out, they fell short of embodying the edginess their press releases promised. But what Prospect did deliver Jonathan Kauffman found to be "urbane, subtle, [and] playful." Read more about Propect in Jonathan Kauffman's reivew.

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Now that Mad Men has whipped everyone into a retro frenzy, it makes sense that a restaurant would try to update the cuisine of the 1950s and '60s. Thermidor's Bruce Binn and Neil Jorgensen took on that challenge, with mixed results. The playful image below is of mini doughnuts served with a candy cigarette and coffee ice cream (from pastry chef Kyle Caporicci, who's since moved on from Thermidor). Read more in "At Thermidor, fine-dining dishes from another era work best when updated," and view more images in "Rocking the Retro at Thermidor."

LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata

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Andy Wright

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