I am full of caramel, caramel, caramel. Time to put down the wooden spoon for a minute and give a wee little roundup of the 2010 Fancy Food Show!
(Or, as Jacob is so incredibly irked that it is not called: the Fancy Food Fest. “How could they resist the alliteration??” he must have asked, incredulously, ten times as we made our way through the crowded aisles.)
We decided that instead of overdoing it on one thing (olives are always my downfall—so many aisles full of nothing but Italian and Greek and Spanish and so many more types of olives and olive oil samples!), we would work our way through the show medicinally, tasting only the samples we needed to keep our systems on an even keel: first sweets, then savories, then drinks, then more sweets, repeat repeat repeat.
By the end I had distilled this philosophy down to its purest essence, and was eating spoonfuls of fancy sea salt straight up, followed by pure sugar.
And then we got the milkshakes.
Along the way, I did manage to do some real work. My holy grails (recycled paper pink truffle cups and shopping bags) were researched. Suppliers were talked to and given talkings to (“Why don’t you make fire-roasted tomatoes in 10# cans, Muir Glen?? Is it your desire that I spend hours opening wee little 28 oz cans?”). Rival suppliers were scoped. Ridiculous food products were laughed at and heads shook ruefully. Bacon salt was, of course, there. So were insane new energy drinks being pushed upon you by towering blonde women with six-inch heels and cheerleader skirts.
Then I drank a tooth-achingly sweet pisco + pineapple juice sample too quickly and had to have a lot of olive chasers to calm down.
Let’s look at the photos.
Oh, and if you’d like to read about past FFS, here are a few posts from the past. I didn’t go last year because I was exhausted from making one zillion wedding truffles, but here’s the 2008 round up, and the 2007 post, which is all about my *awesome* performance art idea that someone should really do.
Back to 2010:
I use Taza in my Vandana Shiva chocos, and they are just the sweetest, awesomest company ever.
I ran into fancy pants chef Pichet Ong, at whose dearly departed restaurant P*ong I celebrated my 30th birthday. Afterward I sent him a box of truffles to thank him for a wonderful meal, and he emailed me to say he loved them. When I saw him at the Fancy Food Show, I was starting to introduce myself when he said, “Lagusta–chocolates!” and I was totally floored. Who remembers things from two years ago?? Not me (I have a blog that does that for me). So I asked him if it would be dorky to take a photo, and he said not at all. I hereby decree that we are now BFFs!
I finally met my chocolate BFF, John Kehoe! We had a lovely chat. I also met their head sourcing manager (pretty sure this wasn’t his title, but his business card is lost in a giant pile of fliers and cards and samples that is currently threatening to swallow my desk) from, I believe, Ecuador, who works with the farmers who grow the beans. So great to talk with the people who make the raw materials you use every day, I can even tell you.
We rounded the day out with vegan butterfinger milkshakes (amazing!!! My theory is they use ground up chik-o-stix…) at Terri (note the sugar-induced crazy eyes we both have), sake bingeing at Sakaya (Maresa and I each got a bottle of my favoritest drink in the universe, this yuzu sake, and Jacob got two kinds of shochu), and a drink at Counter, where Maresa is a pastry chef!
Then the bus ride home, then I went in to work at 10 PM to make Jacob four chocolatey desserts for his birthday. My god, it was a sugary day.
Speaking of the white devil: back to caramel!