The opening shindig for the first SF Chefs. Food. Wine. festival (still doesn't quite roll off the tongue) took place yesterday evening. The event was christened by the tag-team superduo of Tyler Florence and Gavin Newsom, who were definitely fraternity bros in a universe not too alternate. There are plenty of images to peruse in the mega-gallery above, but here are some additional observations from last night...the night that was:
1) Upon the mayor's entrance, actual trumpets sounded, just like in medieval times. As in, the prince has arrived! Da-da-da!
2) Speaking of Mayor PlumpJack (who is doing a fabulous Obama speech impression these days), he kicked off the festival with big words: "Eat your heart out Aspen!" We'll see.
3) Blind item: which PR person actually snapped surreptitious photos of a very present Michael Bauer for clients?
4) As is the case with most events this weekend, the chef lineup last night was pretty impressive. Oddly enough, the winning dishes of the night came from two chefs sans (open) restaurant: Melissa Perello's duck liver mousse and Corey Lee's potato soup with sea urchin and truffle.
5) You know you're in San Francisco when: everyone is buzzing about Rachel Dratch (aka Debbie Downer, see above) being the big Hollywood star.
6) The McSlider on the Absinthe menu? Maybe, maybe.
7) Normally, this is the part in Hangover Observations that features a roll call of those notables present, but there were so many food personalities there—chefs and plenty of media—but one that does bear mentioning: Sir Thomas Keller, everyone.
8) All in all, it should be an interesting weekend, and one that hopefully goes well. Myriad chef stars will be out in full force, but like many others, we'll be curious to see both the turn-out and how the first-time event turns out.
Stay tuned for more coverage as the weekend goes on. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on SF Chefs to the tipline, in the comments below, and for those at the festival, do tweet/retweet your sightings to @eatersf all weekend long.