Last night’s inaugural Blurb Food Fair at Stable Cafe was an especially courant evening celebrating the marriage of amateur cuisine and the digital publishing platform. The San Francisco based company invited a select group of recipe bookmakers from the site (as they said, heralding “from the Bay Area to the Bay of Pigs”) to cook dishes from their Blurb created books and tell their stories through both their homemade recipes and their tomes. With more Blurb Food Fairs (and events like Blurb featuring the dedicated home chef/recipe book creator) coming in the future, we’d like to take a little time to reflect on our top five foodie trend observations from plating to pairing to the fact that we’re still apparently really into bacon.
5. Family Recipes
21-year-old Blurb bookmaker Sylvanna Sanchez of Las Recetas de mi Abuela created her Cook-Blurb to share and preserve the recipes passed down by her grandmother, included her caramel-sweet milk crepes (served last night). Everyone loves a story about someone’s grandmother, and it turns out Abuela Sanchez (along with a dozen or more assorted Sanchezes) took the drive up from Mexico to be part of Sylvanna’s big moment at the fair. Blurb as a platform is all about creating a venue for the Sylvanna Sanchezes of the the world collect, curate and publish their adventures in cooking while allowing recipes to be passed down digitally. When I expressed my enthusiasm for the family angle of Sanchez’s book I was invited to create my own family Cook-Blurb. Coming from a family where my mother took it as a point of feminist pride that she didn’t cook (“I’d help you with dinner but I don’t know where the kitchen is”) it would be a very short book. “Does add water to French press and push down count as cooking?” I asked. According to Blurb, maybe.
4. We’re Still Eating From Food Trucks
God bless whoever decided food trucks were not going to be just a passing fancy: the roving wonders are here to stay. In the final flourish of San Francisco Indian Summer is there really anything better than eating fusion cuisine standing up in a parking lot? It’s the little things… During summer I only eat at food trucks and pop-ups: restaurants with permanent locations are for between November and June.
3. Wine Roulette
You all know how much I love A) Gambling B) Risk-Taking and C) Wine so clearly, this was the game for me. Although there was no spinning wheel, blindfold or pistol, I still highly recommend it. For some reason I kept getting South African Chardonnays so after the third glass I started doing my Matt Damon in Invictus accent. Then I segwayed into District 9 and was promptly cut off from the Chardonnay and asked to switch to a less irritating Malbec.
2. Not Everyone is Off Gluten
As someone almost a year into the celiac life, the pasty table was a cruel reminder that not everyone is off gluten. I’m mostly past my wheat envy but every now and then a platter of brownies and cream puffs a la Sharon Garner of Edible Artistry comes my way and I find myself moping. For this purpose, I asked a designated wheat-eater along and just watched the expressions on his face as he ate all the rich gooey gluten-ous foods I’m only able to have if made from buckwheat or quinoa or cocoa enriched dates. As a service to all my other fellow gluten-free friends I’ve decided there may be a future in connecting the gluten-free with the gluten friendly so we can live vicariously through those with more advanced food tolerances. When my gluten friendly food taster described the way the brownies broke apart in his mouth and dissolved into a surge of chocolate it was almost like being there. You know what I mean.
1. The Pinnacle of a Certain Kind of San Francisco Dining Experience
Sandy Kwan (fun fact about Sandy: she likes to talk about how she has a sister named Michelle, like the skater) brought the evening to a fitting conclusion sharing a recipe from her book Eat Everything that represented the pinnacle of a certain kind of San Francisco dining experience within the last five years. Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie. Let’s just take that ingredient by ingredient. Bacon a pork product found in everything lately from chocolate bars to Chapstick. Bourbon delicious! Pecan the new walnut and I’m betting there’s some scientist out there who will win the Nobel Prize for figuring out how to get the thing to give milk. Pie which is to 2013 what cupcakes were to 2009. Add to this our ongoing cultural obsession with savory and sweet and you have half a decade of food trends wrapped up in one dish. Kwan recommended the pies from later in her baking, when measuring the amount of bourbon became less of an exact science. After a few shots, er, pieces of pie, she promised to come over and cook me scrambled eggs with caviar, one of the more timeless recipes from her Blurb collection, because if bacon live in pie there’s no reason fish eggs can’t share a plate with scrabbled eggs.
Want more of these and other Cook-Blurbs? Go here!