“For breakfast today, we will be serving olive oil…yep, just olive oil.” Yikes, right? Well, that’s exactly what I was thinking bright and early on Saturday morning when I had an olive oil tasting at 9 AM during Day Two of the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. No, I was not one of those enthusiastic Foodbuzzers who got up at 6 AM to run, and no, I don’t usually count olive oil as a breakfast food. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Chef, blogger and all-around cool guy Michael Tuohy took just 45 minutes and gave us a comprehensive and interesting look at olive oil tasting. Turns out, tasting olive oil is exactly like tasting wine: you swirl, you sniff, and you slurp! Actually, don’t slurp wine in public, that won’t make you any friends. I’ll probably write a separate blog about this session since I learned so much, and I am really happy I woke up for this (something you rarely hear me say). Foodbuzz had a Saturday Morning Pastry & Coffee set-up in the Ferry Building, but it was basically gone by the time we found our way over there (Susie, Chels and I were directionally challenged for most of the weekend). Fortunately, we had been eyeing Il Cane Rosso since the night before, so now we had the chance to give it a try.

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I’ve never had farro before, but I went ahead and ordered the Broken Farro with Almonds and Raisins anyways because I KNEW it would be amazing. Turns out I was right, just like I am about most things in life. ☺

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It was at this point that we got completely seduced by all the sights and sounds of the Ferry Building and the area around it. It reminded me of Fanuiel Hall in Boston, except all of the characters hanging around out around there were original, doing something I had never seen or heard before.

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This little boy couldn’t have been more than 10 years old, and had a professionally designed sign that said, “Please help me pay for my trumpet lessons.” I wish I had been so ambitious at that age instead of being more concerned about the lineup for Saturday morning TV.

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This is Zachary Houston, and he writes poems. Thousands of poems, actually. Just give him a subject, and he’ll write you a one-of-a-kind creation on his little typewriter in the middle of the street. He was actually really fun to talk to (and seemingly sane). He even wrote me a beautiful poem about traveling that includes the complex and impressive phrase “hella wicked”:

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Oh, boy. This is an English family of two crazy brothers and their sister who are all in circus training school.

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They practice their routines on the weekends in the street to make some money, and they had us all laughing and in continual suspense for the better part of an hour. Definitely something cool to check out if you’re ever in the area.

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Next up was the big Afternoon Taste Pavillion at the Metreon in the Financial District. More than 50 producers, companies, wineries and chefs came together to hand out samples of their best products, and there were so many tables and people to visit that it almost became overwhelming! At one point I was juggling my camera, bag, glass of wine, a meatball, and a piece of French toast. I should’ve taken circus lessons from the street performers!

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So much food! Then The Duo Dishes got to demonstrate their winning Bertolli Sauce recipe for all of us. Look at the TV cameras, Rachael Ray better watch her back!

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This crazy day of food wasn’t over yet: we still had the Foodbuzz Dinner & Awards Ceremony! Put on by Foodbuzz and Outstanding in the Field, we got to have a fantastic family-style dinner at the Greenleaf Produce Warehouse:

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The food was phenomenal. Chef Dennis Lee of Namu put a Korean twist on a local produce and sustainable meat-filled menu. Sounded great on paper, tasted even better in real life. I also got to speak with Randall Graham, the winemaker behind Bonny Doon who was serving up the wine himself! My favorite dishes of the night though had to be the mushroom risotto and the calamari:

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Then we got to the big moment of the evening: The Foodbuzz Blog Award Nominees! Congratulations to all who won. I’m so happy I got to be there with all of you talented and passionate people. No, I can’t believe I ate that much food either. My blog about my final day in San Francisco and at the Foodbuzz Blogger Awards is coming up tomorrow, see you then!  — Alison

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