Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Foodbuzz Festival 2011: Day 2 (Nov 5th, 2011), Part 2

Well my friends, Day 2 has not ended yet, that's for sure. Can you recognise the guy up in the photo above?I have not told you about Chef Tyler Florence's surprised show up at the Tasting Pavilion. Yup, that is right.. Chef Tyler Florence people!! He's one of the chef that I idolised amongst others and shall not name them right now, as I prefer to have this post spotlight on Chef Tyler Florence.

There was this queue, and I was so blur that I didn't even realised people were all queueing up to get an autograph signed book from Chef Tyler Florence. By the time I went to queue up, I was told by one of the staff from Alexia and I quote after her "Sorry Miss! Am afraid the queue up to the line has ended". Do you know, to hear that remark and she couldn't even make an exception for me since I did fly half way across the world to attend this event was really heartbreaking and painful to my ears. What a bummer right? I could feel my eyes tearing up, but I remained calm and composed and walked away like any lady would. So I told myself in my mind, okay it's just Chef Tyler Florence, but who am I kidding right?

Since I couldn't get any luck from trying to get a photo taken together with Chef Tyler Florence; Emily, Elisabeth, Angela and I started to head back to the hotel since we were pretty much done with all the food tasting. Before leaving, we took a couple more shots of course and grab a taxi back to the hotel.
So here it is.. when we arrived back at the hotel, there he was; Chef Tyler Florence standing in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt talking to some PR people. I could feel my heart beating so fast and I told myself that I must seize the moment. However, I kind of chicken out since there were PR people around him and didn't want to interrupt their conversation. So there I was, left standing together with Emily feeling all bummed out again with myself kept telling Emily that I really really want to take a photo with Chef Tyler Florence, was just driving me or probably drove her insane too.
The moment my dream came true..,.
The next moment, I realised Chef Tyler Florence was leaving the Grand Hyatt. With lots of Emily's encouragement, I held my breath, brave myself and went after Tyler Florence by calling out to him"Chef! Please wait.." To my surprise, Chef Tyler Florence stopped and there he was; I finally had my chance to talk to him. He is such an awesome Chef, a really nice humble fella and made me felt comfortable in my own skin. This is an experience that I had to share with you because in my entire life I have not chase after somebody whom I idolised..and I finally did it. It was really a liberating feeling. I think I rambled and he knew am sure, due to my nerves. He helped me setup my camera and got the bell boy to take a photo of us. Woo hooooo.. fireworks were just popping in my brains. Now like any fairytale in a storybook, everything always ends well and this time it really did. I was so happy that I couldn't stop jumping in the lobby, yup I was literally doing tiny hops cause it sure felt like there was a 'guardian angel' who heard my prayer and granted my wish.

Now isn't that something? The day has been really fun and when evening came by, that's even more exciting. The Gala Dinner is held in the Grand Hyatt and we have Chef Tyler Florence as our guest chef for the night who will be cooking LIVE right in front our very own eyes. For me, that's almost like a cherry on top of a cake. These were the times I recall myself watching Chef Tyler Florence on TV during his younger days and now his latest cooking show titled 'Tyler's Ultimate' which airs on The Food Network Channel.
Moving on to the evening. While on our way heading back to our hotel room, Elisabeth and I couldn't stop talking about our experience we encounter after having met Chef Tyler Florence in person. Don't get me wrong here, we have no intentions on bragging about this, but we both were just so thrilled for one another that we kept on talking over the same subject. However, I shall stop now and move on to our Gala Dinner.

The Gala Dinner is hosted by Alexia Foods, and they have collaborated together with Chef Tyler Florence to show us a LIVE DEMO cooking show. The dinner was also aired live on Facebook via Alexia Foods. Apart from live demo, it was also an event for the finalist of Alexia's next flavour re-invention of the fries.
Elisabeth & Angela
Nam & Devaki
Angela & myself.. photo courtesy from Elisabeth
At first, little did I know that Angela @ Fab Find Foodie is one of the finalist. It was certainly a pleasure to meet her in person as she is genuinely friendly. So if you ever meet her next time in person, go talk to her or even introduce yourself to her. She's definitely a celebrity blogger in my eyes as she is not arrogant or what so ever. Plus if you listen to what she's going to be doing soon, her story will definitely inspire you to follow your dreams.

What is this whole Flavour Re-Invention Fries about? Basically the chosen finalist are the ones where Alexia loves the idea of their new take of mixed rub or flavour used to coat the fries. And if they win, they will have their fries produced and sold. How cool is that!?!

Angela came up with Classic Dill Julienne Fries. Honestly, I was torn between two choices as I really liked Angela's Classic Dill Julienne Fries as well as another finalist who came up with Thai Spiced Sweet Potato Julienne Fries. To me, they are both winners and I will definitely buy them any time. Both had their own distinct flavour and trust me will definitely have you ask for more. If you like, you can still vote for them and judge based on what you think taste good in your mind. To vote, go to www.facebook.com/Alexiafoods . So go show some support to our fellow bloggers. Every little bit helps right?
If you are wondering what did Chef Tyler cooked live? I think everybody pretty covered this part in their post update and I will keep it short here. He cooked roasted pork chops with braised cabbage and spaetzle. A note of advise from Chef Tyler to us all and I quote after him "Colour Equals Flavour". So remember this peeps, whenever you are planning to pan fry, grill or roast meat or poultry.

As for his lovely dish, it's too bad we didn't get to try them.. but according to Angela that spaetzle was really light, fluffy, crumbly and taste real good [sigh....].  Thank god for the beautiful center piece that diverted my attention, so I wouldn't feel sad for not being able to try his dish.
Thinking back, if you asked me, we were all hoping to be able to sample the dish or at least that would be our dinner. Boo.. hooo.. Too bad, because our dinner menu is completely different. Not that I am complaining, but in retrospect, it would have been nice to have the pork chops served with braised cabbage and spaetzle for dinner. Ahh.. then that will be the perfect dinner.

Dinner menu was not too far from short either. It was a 4 meal course dinner. For Appetizer, we had Butternut Squash Risotto Bites, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Vegetable Samosas with Tamarind Dipping Sauce [no photos here as I was too busy listening to Chef Tyler during the cooking demo..]. I have to say I did enjoy the Vegetable Samosas or maybe because it was cold and I was starting to get hungry..LOL.
Then came our Salad Course, where the Bibb Lettuce was served together with Honey Roasted Pears, Glazed Pecans and you get to drizzled as much of Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette. Yummm.. Bleu/Blue Cheese vinaigrette dressing is definitely an acquired taste. I do love my cheese, so that got a thumbs up from me. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the Honey Roasted Pears, as I found them to be overly sweet. If I'm not mistaken, I think they used Warren Pears and if so, Warren Pears are already naturally sweet. Then again, it's up to individual preference.
For Entree, we were served with Brandt Beef Farms Filet Mignon and Meyer Lemon Roasted Prawns. I love both beef and prawns, and I particularly like how my filet mignon was just perfectly cooked medium. The only issue I had was that the generous amount of  Black Peppercorn gravy. Trust me I do love gravy. But for this case, the gravy pretty much overpowered the lovely filet mignon. As much I love black pepper and in this case black peppercorn and have heaps of sauce on my mash or even a steak, I think good meat should be seasoned well and have the just right amount of gravy served along with it. That's just my preference. Overall the Entree was really tasty.
Then came my favourite part, Desserts. They served us San Francisco Trio which comprises of Sourdough Bread Pudding, Cowgirl Creamery Cheesecake and Sharffen Berger Chocolate Mousse. The only thing which I really didn't like was the Bread Pudding. It's overly sweet, dry and quite hard. Unlike any bread pudding I've ever had. My favourite had to be the Cowgirl Creamery Cheesecake then followed by Sharffen Berger Chocolate Mousse. The Cheesecake is just perfect. Light, creamy, fluffy and melts in the mouth. Now that's a good cheesecake.
Us ladies ..toasting the night away to our new friendship!! (Photo courtesy from Elisabeth)
That's all for now,and I will leave you with photos of food to feast on. If you are interested to know, the night didn't end there. I went for drinks with the ladies, Emily, Visda, Angela, Elisabeth, Gina and Bonnie and chat the night away..



  1. You have taken so many great pictures. Especially the one you sneaked in front of the hotel with Tyler Florence.:-)
    It's also great to see SF from your eyes. xoxo.

  2. Hi Jo-Your post is so eloquently done, with all those photos, ie: the flower arrangement, and the photo of Chef Tyler's elegant pork chop dish!
    Loved every minute of our trip, and seeing all the wonderful sights, and of course, meeting up with food bloggers, and making friends with a few, that I know we will keep in touch with!
    I mostly enjoyed meeting up with you, and spending all the great times together:DDD
    Big hugs,

  3. WOW! That's so amazing you got to meet Tyler Florence, how exciting! I'm so bummed I missed out on the Foodbuzz Festival this year, lovely recap! :)

  4. Hi Visda! LOL.. that was really one of the hightlight of my trip. It's sad not many ppl in Asia know who he is. Too bad for them ;). There's so much more of SF to share with you all.. hugggsss

    Hi Elisabeth! You're so kind and thank you for looking out for me the whole time while I was in SF. I know you cared for me and I really appreciate it that bits. We have to show our fellow readers what else we did ;). Hugggsss..

    Hi Kelly! So happy that you stopped by. There are more scoop to come so stay tune. Perhaps you might make it for next year's event? Till then.. xoxo

  5. I'm sooo glad you got to meet him!! I too was turned away but LUCKILY some girls let me cut them in line!! After meeting him I couldn't tell if I wanted to scream or cry. He really is the sweetest, nicest, cutest chef. As a fellow foodie I'm so happy for you! :D thanks for sharing this!

  6. Oh I LOVED all three of your last posts..Wonderfully covered event! Amazing photos, I only wished that I could attend and meet you all! Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Very nice covered event, thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. What was it that you liked the most about the food you tried?

  8. You have written the BEST posts re: San Fran trip Joanna and you have such beautiful pics thorughout. WOW!

    It was so very nice to meet you and I hope we keep in touch. I still remember your beautiful smile and personality.'

    Think of me when you sink into otaks & popiahs..he..he

    chow! Devaki@ weavethousandflavors

  9. Jo- loved to hear the story about meeting Chef Florence live and on your blog. He's definitely the sweetest chef I've ever met and easy on the eyes too, hehe. The stars were aligned for you that day! I had a ton of fun with you at the festival and beyond. KIT.

  10. OH, such FUN!!!! I'm so thrilled you got Tyler's autograph...what a nice guy. And I loved all your photos! Thanks for sharing your trip with us all~

  11. Oh such a fab time :) Wish I was in the US for this!!!

  12. The shot of you and the chef is the best. ;-) You take great pictures Joanna!

  13. Good for you for talking to Tyler Florence! My sister is a huge fan of him and I'm so happy you got to see your idol!

    (BTW - I know why I missed the post...I'm now following you via google follower!)


Hey foodies! THANK YOU for leaving me with sweet comments. I hope to inspire you like how you inspire me. Cheers~

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