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Category: fancy food show

  1. Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Foodie Fun: The Fancy Food Show and Food Fête Favorite Finds and Recipes

    This week I attended The Fancy Food Show in San Francisco with my dear friend and fellow food blogger Vanessa Druckman. We had a BLAST. We also attended Food Fête and had an equally good  time. I discovered lots of wonderfully delicious things that I simply must share with you. I’m not getting paid for any of this…these are my favorite discoveries from both shows. Get ready to drool! Oh, and it’s a long post, but it’s seriously full of wonderful treats…and at the end I’ll share two amazing recipes with you! So, dig in!

    At the Fancy Food Show there was a room called What’s Hot, What’s New. Vanessa and I loved this space because it was full of new businesses selected for the show. It was fun to meet the owners and hear their stories and passion for their companies.

    Vanessa and I both fell head over heels in love with Michelle Crochet and her lovely confections. She started a company called Droga, which means “drug” because she considers chocolate a drug (agreed!). Michelle was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma (hello, dream job) and then struck out on her own to start this business. The packaging is completely adorable. The caramel is made from a honey base as opposed to high-fructose syrup, which gives it nice depth of flavor. And the Rebel Rocky Road tasted lovely as well. You can buy Droga in a few stores in California or online.

    Just around the corner from Droga was CC Made, with beautiful packaging and delicious treats! They were serving artisan caramel sauces, which were all wonderful but the chocolate was TO DIE FOR. They served the caramels with different flavored salts, which was really fun to mix and match with the sauces. I don’t see the sauce on their website yet, but I’ll be stalking them until it shows up!

    Once we were done with What’s Hot, What’s New we headed over to Italy, where we were met by lots of unfriendly men. So, we scooted over to France, where we met Nicolas from Isigny Ste Mère, who was friendly and fed us lots of amazing food. Visiting this booth made me want to move to France straightaway. First we tried the butter. It was amazing. I ate a giant hunk of it. I’ve never eaten a giant hunk of butter before because, well, it would be gross. But not in this case. Then I tried  fromage frais for the first time, something that my French friend Vanessa knew all about. It’s sort of like a mix of yogurt and crème fraiche, but so much more delicious than either of those items. Nicolas told me to use my “influence” to get fromage frais into the grocery stores here. I’m workin’ on it, Nicolas! 😉 Next we sampled their Eric Ribot Confiture de Lait (milk jam). PEOPLE. I could live on this stuff. Unreal. The flavor is similar to sweetened condensed milk but oh so much better. It would be delicious topped on things like ice cream, pancakes, toast, yogurt…but also completely amazing alone. We need Confiture de Lait all over the U.S. I will not rest until it is so.

    While in France, Vanessa made sure we stopped by Comptoir du Cacao. Every single one of their confections was perfect. Again, I’m moving to France…as soon as this post is done. Tell Nate to meet me at the airport.

    And while we’re talking chocolate, we tried Tisano Cacao tea. The tea has all the health benefits of chocolate without the sugar or fat. Vanessa and I both enjoyed it and found it to be a fun and interesting new trend.

    We also spotted hot chocolate on a stick. The guy was totally unfriendly and unhelpful, and then he expected Vanessa and I to share a cup. Which we didn’t. He begrudgingly gave Vanessa her own, but the milk was cold and the chocolate never melted. I’m not naming names, but I will say that my homemade version is just as tasty and easy to make…so forget buying it! 😉

    We discovered La Tourangelle, an artisan oil company with really wonderful oils. The Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil was lovely as was the Pan Asian Stir Fry Oil. Preeti Mistri (of Top Chef fame…she was super friendly and nice!) was there cooking up delicious food. We had the chance to try her Thai Carrot Ginger Soup (recipe at the end of this post), which was so good with just the right amount of heat. Vanessa had tried these oils on her own and made sure to take me by the booth – I’m so glad she did!

    On to Food Fete! I didn’t get a ton of photos because it was nighttime, so you’ll just have to trust me that this stuff is good.

    We met Anolon and I’ve decided my life’s mission is to get a set of their Nouvelle Copper pans. They have me completely sold.

    We also met the Organic Valley folks, who were wonderful. I look forward to working with them in the future! I was especially happy to learn that the Organic Valley milk I buy at Costco comes from all grass-fed cows who live in California, and that their milk is locally-sourced around the country depending on where you live. Yea!

    There was a brand new company at the event called Simpli Oat Shakes. These lactose-free shakes were delicious. I must admit, I didn’t think I would be that interested in their product, but after trying it and talking to the unbelievably nice married couple who run the company, I knew I would write about them. If you have lactose-intolerant kids, this would be a great option for them. The chocolate really tastes like chocolate milk. The “Fruits” flavor was really good, too. Heck, I’m not lactose intolerant and I’d drink these puppies! They are working on distribution in the U.S., but you can purchase product on their website.

    Pure Dark was in attendance. I’d never had this chocolate. I’m in love.

    Bel Gioioso Cheese was also there and they were serving burrata. I’ve written about burrata before when we had it at Cafe Borrone. I didn’t know you could buy it in the grocery store – I’m so excited! The rep said you can find the burrata at regular grocery stores as well as Trader Joe’s.

    I was also introduced to Nocciolata, which sells a chocolate hazelnut spread similar to Nutella but BETTER. Yes, better than Nutella. The flavor is great but the texture is what really sets it apart. Plus it’s organic to boot. Very cool.

    Last but not least, Stonemill Kitchens was there serving their delicious dips, which can be found at various markets and Costco. They were serving Parmesan Pear and Raspberry Crostinis that I could not stop eating and is the second recipe I will be sharing in this post. You have to make them. So good!

    PHEW. That was a doozy of a post. And those were just my very favorite finds…there was so much more, and I didn’t even scratch the surface of the show itself. I’m so glad I attended these events, especially with Vanessa at my side. I hope you get a chance to enjoy a few of these fun items! And I’m working on giveaways so a few of you can for sure try some of these goodies. Cross your fingers!

    Click ‘more’ to see the recipes for the Parmesan Pear & Raspberry Crostini and Thai Carrot Ginger Soup recipes.

    (>> Find out more…)