Saturday, September 19

In the Moment

So, it turns out, my first experience working with Saveur magazine is not as a food stylist, but as a photographer of sorts. I was working on an Italian cookbook a few months ago with the wonderful and true professional photographer on the project, Sara Remington. We decided the best way to shoot the fresh pasta would be overhead, but didn't have a ladder handy.

Sara's a hard core rock climber, so she just hopped up on a chair and balanced herself on the door handle. I was guest blogging for 7x7 magazine at the time, so it seemed like a great photo op. Little did I know a candid shot of Sara, taken with my dinky point n' shoot, would be my first 'professional' photo credit.

How the shot ended up in Saveur goes something like this: the lovely and talented food writer on the book, Janet Fletcher, sees the photo in my 7x7 blog entry and forwards it to James Oseland at Saveur, who sends it to the photo editor, Paul Love, who tracks me down, et voilá!

Tuesday, September 1

Eat Real

This is the logo on my new favorite t-shirt. Wow, what an amazing day! Today in Oakland at the Eat Real Festival, I ran into old friends doin' what they love to do--some were cooking and some, like moi, were eating. If you were there or following any of the vendor tweets, you know it was a gratifying experience on both sides of the fest. Okay, there are lots of pics, so get ready to drool...

I dig the new Ritual Roasters retro trailer. It takes me back to the days of family road trips to Baja. My friends and I jump started our day with a cuppa delicious, fruity drip from Guatemala. Then, on to the grub.

If you like your falafel with a nice crispy crunch, cheerful smile and a whole lotta Liba, Gail's the girl to find about town. She's new on the scene and with her stylish aprons and infectious enthusiasm will surely win you over.

After many trials and tribulations, spunky Julia Yoon's got her killer Korean BBQ tacos goin' on at Seoul On Wheels. Today there were three to choose from; but seriously,the pork was a no brainer -- it's Korean! And really darn good.

I learned the term 'appropriate technology' during my Peace Corps stint in Africa and this is a fun application of the concept by Soul Cocina: the human-powered blender. Dig it.

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of padron peppers by my bud Cory Obenaur at Blue Plate. They're typically sweet and mild, though beware of the occasional kicker. The padrons from Localicious were skillet-seared with olive oil and sea salt. Delicioso!

What would a food festival be without a little activism and petitioning...

Pretty pictures grab my attention every time. These tasty little ginger 'sconelette' morsels by Kleine are available online. AND...

...not just through their own site but through a food website I just learned about today: Foodzie, where I'm sure you'll see some of your current fav's along with new temptations. It just never ends.

For all of the expectant and new moms out there, this one's for you: Little Bug Baby. I can't attest to the taste, but you know me, I'm a sucker for packaging.

Who knew the pickle folks at Happy Girl Kitchen made refreshingly not-too-sweet lemonade?

I grinned big at this vanity plate, growth demo [two to eight weeks, left to right] and handwritten sign nearby with the proper pronunciation: 'on-DEEV'

I think the thing that struck me most today about the fest, was the genuine love of making and sharing food by the majority of vendors. A perfect example of this was the impromptu collaboration of Elgin Espiritu, sous-chef at Orson, his lovely and talented wife June Lee, Tim Luym, original owner/chef of Poleng Lounge and Chef Kris from Luce to create Buta (translation from Japanese: pig). In the photo above, June Lee and Elgin Espiritu are gettin' ready to ramen.

I wish these kids would play together more often. Their ramen is phenomenal! The cold [left] with yuba, corn, hearts of palm, garden fresh tomatoes and stellar dumplings was a perfect summer medley. The hot [right] with two types of handmade fishcakes, pork belly & kimchee was all happyness for my tastebuds.

All that rich, satisfying flavor required a little sugar interlude and Sweetface Bakery came to the rescue. A couple bites of the not sweet, moist cocoa cupcake with the super-sweet carmel frosting blended nicely for a wee sugar fix and palate cleanser.

One of the day's highlights for this corn lovin' gal was the fresh corn empanada by El Porteño. I haven't made it yet to Argentina, but if the light buttery crust is a traditional trait, I'm gonna have to travel there with stretch fabric, elastic waistband garments.

The last glorious stop of the day was Pizza Politana. If you haven't yet had this perfectly salty, crispy crusted, wood oven baked pizza made with farm-fresh toppings, you need to make a haj to their mobile brick oven stat.