Eat Drink SF, the culinary festival formerly known as SF Chefs, is back for its seventh year of eating, drinking and education from some of the city's top talent. This will be the festival's second year at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, though 2015's programming has expanded to include a variety of events around the city. The festival, which takes place August 20-23, offers a number of new eating opportunities to extend the fun before and after the main tasting events, including a "Taco Knockdown" and brunches galore. And, as always, the proceeds from the events will support CUESA and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation. Here's a rundown of some of the programming that will take place before, during and after the festival:
CUESA Preview Series (August 1, 8 and 15): CUESA will host a series of cooking demos at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market every Saturday in August, featuring chefs Mark Sullivan (Bacchus Management Group), Mat Schuster (Canela) and Anjan Mitra (DOSA).
Super Duper Guest Chef Series (August 17-21): Each day during the series, Super Duper will host a guest chef at one of their locations around town, who will create unique burgers with a portion of the proceeds going to the charity of their choice. The burgers will run all day, but the magic hour is 2-3 p.m., when the chefs will personally prepare their burgers and donate 100% of the proceeds to their chosen organization. A few of the participating chefs: David Barzigan (Dirty Habit), Michael Mina, and Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu's).
The Taco Knockdown (August 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m.): The Folsom Street Foundry will play host to this 20-chef taco battle, in which non-traditional taco makers like ICHI Sushi and Delfina Restaurant Group will compete. A panel of experts will choose the best overall winner, but guests will also determine a crowd favorite. Expect tequila- and mezcal-centric cocktails from The Bon Vivants to keep things lubricated.
The Grand Tastings at Fort Mason (August 21 from 6:30-10:00 p.m, August 22 from 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.): Divided into three sessions over the course of two days, the Grand Tastings will feature presentations and culinary demos from chefs like Dominique Crenn, Elizabeth Falkner and Mourad Lahlou, as well as personalities like Olympic ice skater/cookbook author Brian Boitano. Expect to sample culinary delights from Aatxe, Absinthe, Burritt Room + Tavern, Central Kitchen, Cockscomb, Dirty Habit, Farallon, Flour + Water, ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar, Marlowe, Mina Restaurant Group, Park Tavern, The Cavalier, Waterbar, and Wayfare Tavern, among others.
Brunch Party at Foreign Cinema (August 23 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m): Relive the weekend (and retox) with a final daytime party in Foreign Cinema's airy environs. A healing brunch, restorative cocktails and live entertainment are on the docket.
City-Wide Revival Brunch (August 23, times and location vary): For the less committed, over 20 restaurants around town will also be offering special brunch menus for depleted festival-goers. Participating restaurants include 25 Lusk, Beretta, Central Kitchen and more. No tickets required (reservations recommended).
Discounted early-bird tickets are now available for purchase, starting at $75 for the events or $675 for the all-access VIP weekend pass.