Adventures in Fancy Food


Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show, hosted at the Union Square, in San Francisco. After attending this event I am now calling it the mecca of premium foods and beverages. The show truly captures the essence of some of the finest foods in the world. Three days of over 1,300 exhibits and samplings of more food than anyone person could even imagine to consume.  I met some talented people who are passionate about what they do and their products.

One of my first stops of the day was at a little booth, by Tahitian Gold, the exhibit featured ground vanilla from the worlds rarest vanilla beans. This product can be used as an alternative to whole vanilla beans, making it convenient to get that fresh vanilla flavor with no nothing wasted.  Their chef had prepared a delightful sauce that was so flavorful I actually licked the bottom of my cup to get the last drop! I was told that by using this ground version instead of the extract, the flavor is more intense and less is needed to please your palate. And judging by that sauce, I would have to agree.

As I continued to wander through the never-ending row of booths, I happened across Hak’s BBQ.  I am not an expert by any means, but having lived in Kansas City for almost a decade and then moving to Austin, TX… It’s safe to say, I know a thing or two about BBQ.  Chef Sharone Hakman developed his own product line of sauces, after being a contestant on MasterChef and blowing away Chef Ramsey away with his secret weapon sauce.  Once I sampled shots of each of the three variations, I declared the Habanero Pineapple to be my favorite. It was sweet with just the right amount of kick. All three variations were tasty though. I am looking forward to making some brisket and trying it out soon!

During the show, I also encountered an incredible cooking demonstration where the featured Japanese chef was creating a lovely Brown Rice Salad.  It was a beautifully sculpted tower of rice garnished with a mouthwatering sesame dressing. The plate was just as appealing to look at, as it was delicious.  The ingredients consisted of brown and white rice, black sesame paste, Hijiki a type of seaweed and Itakonyaku, a type of Japanese food consisting of konyaku cut into noodle like strips. (Konyaku, was described as basically a Japanese yam or potato. It is very starchy and can be used to create flour or as a vegan substitute). The dish is super healthy and savory all at once.

I suggest tasting at all steps to be sure that you are adding the flavors to your liking. It is a gorgeous dish and very light, so would be a great post-appetizer, pre-entrée dish. You can find the recipe below.

Of course the show had so much more to offer, but I can’t possibly go into detail about all of it. What I can say is this… 2013 will be a very exciting year in food and there will be new trends and products that will change that way that we consume and prepare our foods.  I will be sure to share more fabulous products and recipes as I encounter them and would love for you to share your finds with me as well ( Then maybe together we can stay in the loop on all the foodie trends.



I am Dawn and as a business professional, I rarely have a lot of time to prepare meals during the week and always struggle to find a balance of eating healthy, while constantly on the go. As a runner, it is crucial for me to stay fit and  I must always remember to keep a well balanced diet in order to keep my fitness & energy levels up! I try my best to fit in workouts when I can. The frequent business trips, networking events and long hours come with lots of eating (and drinking) out, spare little time for the gym or trails.  My writings are based on the exploration of new products and trends and attempting to blend those in a way that allows me to lead a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. I must admit that I love to explore and I am always up for the adventure of a meal, so I typically don’t turn down an invite.