Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vinters Gala--savories

A sparkling welcome!
There are many foodie events in San Franciso, but one of the best and brightest is the Meals on Wheels of San Francisco Annual Star Chefs and Vinters Gala which takes place at Fort Mason. They hold it in the Festival Pavillion which is transformed from a concrete cavern into a posh party haven for the night. Tickets to the Star Chefs and Vinters Gala are dear to the wallet (with most of the price tax-deductible), but worth it both for the hors d'oeuvres reception where wine and cocktails abound, followed by a sit down dinner and live auction. The night is complete with a dessert reception and DJ who rules the dance floor. When you attend, you'll find foods both innovative and outrageous, beautiful and bountiful, not to mention abundant! Every corner turned presents a new untried savory or treat, plus a chance to speak with the staff of the restaurant. The Chefs are personable and fun, but working hard to feed you, so don't monopolize their time even though it's tempting to pick their brains about food. Also, you need that time to scout all the vendors and maybe hurry over to the revolving line at Hana Japanese, which never seems to get shorter, but always has new faces at the front. It appears that a raw sushi bar wins you a lot of friends, so keep that in mind for your next party!

Check in and get your paddle arm ready!
I was lucky enough to enjoy the wine and savories reception as well as the post dinner dessert reception because I volunteered my time to work at the Gala. Each year MOWSF puts out the call for volunteers, so if you're interested in donating your time as opposed to your mucho dinero there are many positions for every type of personality. I got this info from a follow up thank you email (which, really, letting me sample the plates prepared by star chefs was thanks enough, but MOWSF will kill you with kindness--they truly appreciate volunteers!). I think it's pretty awesome and I'm proud to have contributed.
  • 320 volunteers contributed an average of 4 hours of their time on Sunday, yielding an in-kind mass volunteer donation of $30,720!!!
 I took a lot of pictures, almost 200. Amazingly I don't think I did get pictures of All the food. There were a lot of patrons and guests at this event and to be honest I don't like to go around announcing my blog. This may seem contrary to the fact that Tea Time wants people to read our blog; however I much prefer people to act in their normal manner around me. So I tried to not to get in the way of the paying guests while also attempting to find good lighting and take decent pictures. Sometimes I did okay, sometimes I failed. Every once in a while I got a great shot. You'll see all three kinds of these photos in the two posts about the Star Chefs and Vinters Gala, because most likely it will be that the food was great but the photo not so perfect. So with that disclaimer, I give you Angela's View of the Gala.

Patrons and Guests were checked in and handed their wine glass.
Surely everyone can afford $50 if it might get you a MINI COOPER!
The Black and White theme of the decorations was classic.
My first dish-- a Frog Leg with cracklings from EPIC.
I didn't drink anything alcoholic at the party, a personal choice since I was volunteering.
This heirloom tomato salad was one of my favorite dishes, simple and perfect.
This table had the cutest helper as well! 
Globe Zuppa, two for one resto!
Silent Auction bidding, I want that vacation!
Mini Bahn Mi from Safeway- tasty!

Crispy little tacos from Absinthe.
A lot of plates and cutlery were compostable bamboo.
Drinks were all around. Cocktails, coffee, wine, beer...

Miso broth, noodles, a tiny carrot, greens and a quail egg...

From Taste Catering!

From the Ahwahnee Hotel Resto.

The belly was crispy as advertised, very yummy.

Need a beverage? They have the Cure!

from Waterbar/Farallon, another two for one table.

Pancake with pickled veg on top

"Soup and Sandwich" An exotic offering of porcini soup with a faux grois ice cream chocolate cookie from Ames.
The signs of a good time!

Shucks, it's Hog Island Oyster Co! Wielding the knife for MOWSF.
Creative Star Chefs rep for the Slanted Door, ready to plate your gumbo!

Will this sign show your fave Chef next?.
  Greens restaurant repped with a pretty plate.
Annie Somerville keeping and eye on the plates.
 Next stop, a raw fish 'dish', very easy to eat!

Asian Box from Palo Alto shows it's valley pride.

Lamb meatball in sauce, delish.

Speared sashimi with watercress from Nick's Cove.
Fresh Seafood from Pt. Reyes!
The Martin Yan crew with their small plate offering, this was another table it was hard to get close to!

M.Y. China, maybe Mr. Yan will come next year.

Piperade on demand.
Tongue with pickled veg and aioli. Are you sensing a pickled theme?
Seafood Gumbo with a Cheese biscuit they were making on the spot! Warm, fresh and the perfect spice.
You could get spicy or regular Gumbo.
BSK Star Chef Tonya Holland working the crowd. 
All Spice. California cuisine with Indian influences.

I'd had my tongue quota for the evening though...

So I grabbed a meat and potatoes, which was flavorful and had me craving seconds!
Sometimes it was nice not to have to deal with another plate. I tried to keep my fork and reuse it!
Wente Vineyards Resto
The crowd. Ready to chow down while supporting MOWSF.
An awesome spread of housemade pates and crusty bread from Foreign Cinema.
Warm Clam Chowder, a good sized sip!

Good job Chefs!

Courtesy of Navio from the Half Moon Bay Ritz.

Another savory ice cream dish.
Beautiful presentation at the table of Boulevard.
My only request...more truffles next year! I ate several of these.
Another fine food...caviar garnish!
Parallel 37. Their brick and mortar resto can be found down in Chinatown.
Up close with the medley of flavors in dish from Star Chef M. Rotondo.

The raw sushi bar from Hana Japanese is cleaned out! SF knows what's good, and no one can resist sushi. 
I'm window shopping, but some of this wine looks pretty tasty.
A skewered delight of a bite.
Do you have a bottle of wine to offer? Donate it to the "Instant Cellar".  I can see some real Champagne on the shelf!
I kept seeing people walking around with these tiny food towers, and finally found them at the Burritt table.
Yay! It's all mine.

Since they've started announcing dinner, it's not surprising that the Copita table has been ravished.
I need this cheese warmer at home!
A Bay Area Institution!
Cowgirl Creamery shows off the goods!
Share all your cheese secrets Miz Conley.

So ends the savory section of the Mowsf Gala. Check out the desserts post, because they are just as good (if not better). I learned a lot from this event, about the generosity of people, the contrasting of flavors and most of all to step up and ask Donna Sachet to pose one more time! (I just couldn't get my shot in! Such a perfect SF moment.)

Thanks Meals on Wheels of San Francisco for being there for Seniors and individuals in need.