You may have noticed that my posts have been a bit less frequent lately...and for that, I apologize. But I'm working on something super exciting! I'm working on a business idea I've had for a very long time...an exclusive immersive, behind the scenes, all-inclusive experience in wine country. Why am I doing this? Well...I believe that visiting wine country often feels like going to the zoo: uninspiring winery tours, usually leading to crowded tasting rooms. But I also believe that visiting wine country can be more like embarking on a true, authentic safari: exclusive, private tastings, behind-the-scene, hands-on activities, farm-to-table dining with local chefs and winemakers. So that's the experience I'm building...and as of right now I'm calling it DolceVita Wine Country Safari.
There are still a lot of details to figure out and one of the steps I'm taking to make progress is to host a prototype weekend in Sonoma (hopefully October 9-11 but we may end up moving it out a bit). The goal of this weekend is not only to start to build out the idea more fully but to also get live feedback from actual guests. If you're interested or know others who might be please check out dvwinesafari.com for the full itinerary, pricing guide and instructions on how to join us for the weekend. It's truly going to be epic, educational and delicious...we have a lot of great things planned! Since it's our first time doing this I'm offering it at a pretty amazing discounted rate so I make sure to fill the spots and get maximum learning...so act fast if you're interested.
I'll keep you all updated on my progress here but I do also have a whole list of really fun new SavoryGirl posts that I'm planning as well. I'm just having to split focus and put a bit more energy into DolceVita at the moment...but stay tuned on both fronts, exciting times ahead!
As we began to walk around Bloomfield Farms my mood skyrocketed...breathing in the fresh air, taking in the views and playing bocce while sipping wine with the very people who grew the grapes and made the wine from three vineyards all within miles of Bloomfield Farms. This all reminded me of an idea I had for a business years ago but had buried deep while I built my life and career here in San Francisco. As I though about this idea again while enjoying the wine and having fun with my friends I found myself saying over and over again that this experience was making me "happy in my soul". And this was all before the food!
After this amazingly beautiful weekend in the Bay Area it is clear that summer is here...and that means Food Truck season is in its prime! So I'm re-posting this May 2012 video and post to inspire you to get out there and start sampling all of the amazing Food Trucks that the Bay Area has to offer!
May 3, 2012
Street food is one of my absolute favorite things about traveling abroad. It's the fabric of a culture...what ties communities and generations together while allowing locals to make a living and share their authentic food with those who come to visit. Eating street food is like drinking locally grown wine...it allows you to taste and get a sense of place. Terroir, if you will.The relatively recent swell of food trucks in our own country brings this glorious tradition to our own backyard...but even a die-hard foodie like me found it hard to keep up with all of the different trucks and be where they happened to be just at the right time. So for the first couple of years when food trucks were all the rage, I kind of missed out which was frustrating! But who has time to chase trucks all over town just to show up right when they're running out? So when Matt Cohen founded Off the Grid, which brings food trucks from all over the Bay Area together into centralized locations I was thrilled! Finally, an efficient way to sample from many food trucks and support my local food scene. It's like I'm traveling & eating all around the world right in here in San Francisco. This short video takes you on a tour of the Fort Mason Off the Grid market...take a quick look and then swing by on a Friday and check it out yourself!
I love camping...partially because it is so amazing to completely disconnect, be dirty and just not care for days at a time. But I also love it because I get to leisurely cook outside with the sun streaming down over me and a margarita in my hand. In my opinion, everything cooked over a campfire just tastes better so that's the only way we cook dinner when we camp. I do allow a little camp stove for breakfast sometimes, but usually I'm a stickler about campfire cooking.
Since we're heading up to Lake Tahoe to go camping for Labor Day weekend I thought I'd share the SavoryGirl approach to camping. If I do say so myself, we eat pretty darn well! We keep it relatively simple so clean-up isn't too intense but we've certainly moved beyond the typical burgers & hot dogs every night that most people associate with camping.
First things first, you have to go camping prepared if you want to eat well. What you see above is my camping spice rack. My spices at home are in these little magnetic tins hanging on a wall in my kitchen so when we go camping I stack them up and bring them along. Luckily (or unluckily) we live in bear country so pretty much everywhere we go camping has a nice big metal bear locker that works just fabulously to stick my spices to. Seasoning at your fingertips!
We also bring along our good knives, cutting boards, can opener, wine key, aluminum foil, pot holders, tongs, camping pots/pans/plates/cups etc... so that we essentially have a fully stocked kitchen with us. Essential if you want to cook well over the fire...so what exactly are we cooking?
How I love visiting markets in foreign countries! It's like a glimpse into the way the locals shop, eat, cook and really helps you understand their culture's perceptions around food. Do they use the whole animal or mostly prime cuts? Do the vendors want you to sample and try things you've never seen or are they more reserved and focused primarily on the business aspect of their stall? Are there fully prepared foods to eat or is it just an ingredient marketplace? You can learn and understand so much from one quick stroll!
The San Pedro Market in Cusco, Peru is no different...it's like you can feel the pulse of the city as you explore row after row of fresh produce, just squeezed juices, handmade scarves and wares, freshly cut meats, handcrafted cheeses and breads and brimming bowls of just made Peruvian soups. If it wasn't for Christian I would spend a full day at this place, but at the very least let's take a quick tour:
The produce at the San Pedro Market is incredible! Each row you walk down smells of another sweet, intoxicating smell so finally we gave in and tried Sweet Passion Fruit for the first time, which is shown above. We immediately fell in love with this new fruit...you can read more in my post all about the sweet passion fruit.
Beyond produce there is an amazing array of freshly baked breads, artisan cheeses and of course the staples of the Peruvian diet; corn, potatoes and coca leaves! Coca leaves have a similar effect as caffeine but more mild. You can chew them directly (kind of like chewing tobacco) or have them as tea, candies...the options are pretty limitless. I'm not 100% sure that they actually helped our altitude sickness but if nothing else they certainly had a nice placebo effect on us!
When we first moved to the Marina almost two years ago we were pretty happy with our decision after 3+ years of noise & shenanigans in the TrendyLoin, TenderNob or whatever you wanted to call our old ‘hood. However, there were two things we really missed...diversity (of both cuisines and people) and the fabulous Heart of the City Farmer’s Market in the Civic Center that we used to walk to each Sunday.
For our first 6 months in the Marina we were shocked to find that there was no Farmer’s Market at all within walking distance (with all of us yuppies? what gives?!) but then last summer the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market opened up on Sundays from 9:30-1:30 for the summer only. Lucky for us it was such a success that they decided to keep it open year round and it is still going strong 1 year later.
- WHAT: It is billed as the most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish & Portugese varietal wines in North America. While Tempranillo was certainly the star, there were plenty of other wines to taste such as Albariño, Verdelho, Graciano and more.