to san francisco, with love. October 14, 2010

BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco

The view out of our window at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday afternoon. The conference was over a day old and keeping up with the pace of emotion was taking its toll on me. Having spoken on a food styling panel that morning with two people I greatly admire, I was on tilt as it was.  I left Penny de los Santos‘s session in a puffy-eyed daze. Emotional, draining, inspiring, moving, funny, touching. That talk – the talk about the life of making pictures – was my keynote that day. I had nothing left to give and no more room to take anything in. If I had learned anything during my days at BlogHerFood, it was that I was here not to optimize anything but my connection with myself, my blog, and the people that inspire me to keep blogging every day.

Ferry Market in San Francisco

It was certainly about food. It was about the experience, as it is for many of us that passionately live our lives in search of the imprints that food make on our lives. It was about the incredible community that San Francisco has been able to build in its markets like the Ferry Building. The stalls and stands outside – the invested interest & dedication to buying local and organic. The beauty of seeing these businesses being busy. After having been in hotel conference rooms for hours on end, this burst of visual stimulation and lungs full of fresh air was a welcome retreat.

Ferry Market in San Francisco

While it wasn’t the knock down, drag out simply fabulous meal I shared with Broderick at SPQR, my other favorite bite of the weekend was experienced sitting on a ledge of a market planter with my dear friend (and SF roommate) Chris of Mele Cotte. Turning the corner at the market, we caught the wafting smell of smoked salmon and sharp red onions. Courtesy of Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoked Salmon Company, we noshed on open-faced tartines of San Francisco sourdough, fresh cream cheese, roasted golden beets, red onions and toasted walnuts. A tiny sprinkle of lavender salt tied it together in a bright, unexpected way. I fell in love with this sandwich instantly.

Elizabeth Faulkner at BlogHer Food 2010

Through the multitudes of demos and sponsor tables, it was nice to see a familiar face: the awesome swaggered smile of Elizabeth Faulkner. She’s a world-renowned pastry chef, Top Chef rock star, and owner of local restaurant Orson. After seeing her demo (on behalf of Scharffen Berger) at BlogHer Food, Chris and I visited her restaurant for dinner. The space is great, the drinks were top notch, and the dessert I had…well…I need not be overly-flowery about a dessert called The Breakfast of Champions. It included fried French Toast and cinnamon toast ice cream – how can that be bad?!

BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco

As I said in the beginning…in the end…my whirlwind weekend in San Francisco was all about the people. It was about my semi-shock at Michael Ruhlman asking questions about food styling at my session. It’s about folks like Irvin who rescued my friends and I from pending cab drought doom and entertained all of us with his witty demeanor the whole weekend. It’s about strong-willed folks like Sean who is blazing D.I.Y trails over at Punk Domestics. It’s about people like Michael Procopio and his incredible voice and way of storytelling. I can assure you, his blog name Food For The Thoughtless is a misnomer.

BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco

Lastly but certainly not least…it’s about the people I know that are real in my life every day. The amazingly strong and talented women who inspire me, lift me up, make me laugh, hug me when I have tears rolling down my face in a hotel bathroom, and consult on how to fit 30 pounds of swag in a 25 pound suitcase. I was so fortunate to have shared this weekend with Helen and Chris…and I can’t imagine it any other way. They’re my people – my dearest people – close to home. I left San Francisco feeling re-connected to people old and new, myself, and this new blog of mine that really makes me smile. This trip reminded me why we blog…why we do this: for ourselves and to reach out to those who feel the need to reach out, as well. Thank you to all the folks at BlogHer for asking me to speak at this year’s conference, to all the people who complimented my panel-mates and I, to the folks who took the time to introduce themselves. to the people who inspired me by sharing their stories. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Comments

Chris Oct 14, 2010 04:10 am

Well said…your thoughts are so clear…something I couldn’t really get down on “paper”. It was a wonderful weekend and I am excited we got to share it together! My sandwich still calls to me…I think we need to go back JUST for that. :) Love ya!

tami Oct 17, 2010 01:10 pm

So glad we are all able to experience it together. <3

Broderick Oct 14, 2010 04:10 pm

It was such a great trip! SPQR was amazing and I’m glad we were able to fit it into our crazy schedule!

tami Oct 17, 2010 01:10 pm

Me too, B. I’m currently plotting how to tell the world the joys of poppy seeds in pasta…

The Teacher Cooks Oct 15, 2010 12:10 pm

Loved reading this post and what a cute picture of the three of you at the end!

tami Oct 17, 2010 01:10 pm

Thanks, Wanda. It was a wonderful trip – met some other great folks from around Atlanta, as well!

Srivalli Oct 22, 2010 05:10 pm

Tami, It was a wonderful meet at Blogher Food, sad we couldn’t get well acquainted. That’s a lovely recap!

Sean Oct 23, 2010 07:10 pm

Tami it was so great to see you again … but still not enough time with you! Liveblogging your session doesn’t count as quality time in my book. :)

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