Great food is not cheap; nor is SF Chefs. Food. Wine., a food fest that resembles nothing so much as a farmers' market selling access to top chefs, foodie luminaries, and master vintners. HQ is Union Square, tented over to accommodate myriad tastings (25 chefs and 70 wineries appear each day), and more than 60 satellite classes and seminars take place in surrounding restaurants and hotels. At night, big, expensive events abound, such as the American Culinary Pioneers Awards, honoring local trailblazers like Patricia Unterman and Zuni Cafes Judy Rodgers. Itll set you back $250, but Gary Danko, Traci Des Jardins, and the Ritz-Carltons Ron Siegel will be making you dinner. Activities at the bottom rung of the price ladder are mainly limited to gawking and inhaling, but there are a few good things to pick up on the cheap: Danko, for one, is doing something wonderful to tomatoes with author Joanne Weir, for free, and Cois Daniel Patterson and Nopas Laurence Jossel demystify heirloom seeds with seed preservationist Craig Lindquist, also for free.
Aug. 6-9, 2009