Glitz, Glamour, and the Girl Fight That Almost Was: Who We Saw at SF Chefs.Food.Wine.

M. Ladd
Circa's Erik Hopfinger, bearing tasty lamb chops.

At the opening reception for SF Chefs.Food.Wine. in Union Square last night, several attendees were giggling over reports that horns had trumpeted the appearance of Mayor Gavin Newsom minutes earlier. SFoodie spotted Michael Bauer and other Chronicle food and wine staffers chatting up Newsom near the BIG tent's front entrance on Powell Street. Time for a glass of Domaine Chandon, to kick things off, yes?


While the festive and fun Los Compas band played, attendees strolled, sipping (cocktails, wine, or Fiji water) and eating. Some brave dancers later hit the floor to strut their stuff.

 Many industry folks were in attendance, including chef Thomas Keller and Laura Cunningham (holding hands for much of the night), cookbook author Joanne Weir, Brock Keeling (SFist), Paolo Lucchesi (Eater SF), chefs Hubert Keller and Jamie Lauren, Patrick Haig (Citysearch), and catering maven Paula LeDuc. Bar stars included Brooke Arthur (her Smoke and Mirrors cocktail knocked us out in the best possible way), Martin Cate, Marco Dionysos, Reza Esmaili, Dominic Venegas, Thad Vogler, Neyah White, and Carlos Yturria.

M. Ladd
Swear to god, these sausages on a stick almost caused a fight.

Standout nibbles came from Erik Hopfinger of Circa, whose Moroccan-spiced lamb chops with chimichurri were succulent and tender. The scrum for a hot, spiced Eden Farms Pork Sausage with white Friulana polenta from Pizzeria Zanna Bianca almost got SFoodie in a girl fight (hey, we were there first, and had been waiting quite a few minutes).

SFoodie contributor Sam Prestianni may have caught him in a moment of pique

, but 5A5 Steak Lounge consulting chef Marc Vogel got plenty of love from Keller, who reportedly told the chef he liked his mushroom reduction appetizer best. It was flavorful, rich, and delicious. Besides, who are we to argue with Keller?


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