*We have ordered a new camera. It should be arriving next week!*
A friend of mine invited me to a launch party in San Francisco for the Tasty Awards, which is a relatively newly-created annual food and fashion award. I’d never heard of it, but I had heard that launch parties usually have good food and drink, so I agreed to attend. Plus, I had seen on Bellwether Farms’ Facebook page that they were attending. Score. I had missed them at the Fancy Food Show, so I saw this as a second chance to meet Bellwether Farms.
The event took place at 330 Ritch St. in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco, on a Sunday afternoon. I got all dolled up, and pretty much bolted from my weekly singing gig to the venue. My first thought was, “Thank God my husband made me a sandwich to eat on the way over here!” I had thought that since this WAS an event celebrating an award that celebrates the height food and lifestyle, there would be plenty of the stuff to go around. Wrong! There were indeed some tables set up in the middle of the room, but they were all for sweets, with the exception of three roasted geese from Schiltz Goose Farms in South Dakota and Bellwether.
Since I was in dessert mode anyway, I made the rounds. I adored meeting Chris Kollar, a self-taught confectioner and founder of the new Kollar Chocolates (still under construction!) in Yountville. He was so genuine and friendly, I was immediately smitten! Hopefully, our paths will cross again in the near future. I sampled all of the chocolates on his tray–poppy/white chocolate, hazelnut crunch, cherry kirsch, peanut butter, crunchy “coffee sticks,” their signature fennel “emerald” (my term, not theirs). I know I am missing something, too. I discovered The Bread Project, a non-profit that provides job training for those with limited resources for a career in the food industry. They had wonderful pastries for sample (I had a gougère and their macaron cookies), and was told they also cater.
Bellwether Farms had only two cheeses to sample, both of them from Jersey cow milk–basket ricotta and Carmody. Clearly, they were keeping the good stuff, like San Andreas, Pepato, or Carmody Reserve, for sale. :) I was surprised that they weren’t sampling any of their yogurts, especially their new apple yogurt, which rolled out two weeks ago.
There were some celebrities at the ultimately intimate event, including my sister’s childhood hero, Brian Boitano, figure skater extraordinaire-turned-celebrity food show host, celebrity chef and restaurateur Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), and local chef and Top Chef competitor Marisa Churchill.
The other attendees included a smattering of food writers, bloggers, and journalists, at least one cardiologist, some local trend-setters, and quirky folks–like a gal who is an editor at a trivia quiz company. Conversation was good, the people were well-dressed, and the ambiance was relaxed. I was expecting a slightly larger event (and definitely with more food!), but I guess it’s not bad for my first launch party! I’m looking forward to the next one!