I welcomed the arrival of Summer at CUESA's Annual Summer Celebration.
Three weeks ago, I found out that CUESA was going to have its annual event, and was running a photo contest, themed, that week, around stone fruits. The lucky winners would receive tickets to join an incredible line up of SF and Bay Area chefs.
I submitted a few pictures inspired by the produce available that week, and … my “Cherry Checkers” picture was selected!
Fast forward to the day of the event, I arrived at the Ferry Building to be awed by an incredible scene: table after table of amazingly looking bites, showcasing the best produce and flavors the area has to offer. The creativity was inspirational, the tastings, delicious and visually delightful.
I very much enjoyed talking with several of the chefs and restauranteurs present, be it about their tastings, East Coast-West Coast experiences (a few were transplants like myself) and, what else but World Cup Soccer. :)
To add to this experience, the CUESA team had prepared themed activities to challenge noses (blind smells), minds (knowledge quizzes) and tongues (tongue twisters). It proved to be a fun way to mingle with others and learn more about market produce.
I left very satisfied (full :]). Importantly, I departed with an expanded sense of the community and passion this area has fostered around fresh, good and sustainable food, humanely raised or caught meats and fish, as well as its understanding of what it takes to bring out the best of locally grown produce.
I will keep fond memories of incredible flavors and colors, smiles and fun conversations, as well as a long list of places to visit in San Francisco and the Bay. Thanks again CUESA, already anticipating the next event!
By the way:
- An overview of the event, and the full list of chefs and vendors represented can be found here. A great list!
- The thumbnails showcasing the tastings are tagged with the restaurants they represented. Click on each photo to enlarge and find out more.