Even before I wrote a post about having met up with Molly, Jen and Shuna, I had, of course, had a number of other meetings with remarkable bloggers. I just hadn't called them that. So instead of calling this "Meetings With Remarkable Bloggers, Part II" as I had originally intended, I'm going right back up there to the title bar and striking "Part II" through and adding "Again". Damn. Typepad won't let me do a strikethrough on the title bar, and I'm an HTML idjit who won't take the time right now to figure out if it's even possible. I'm still on vacation, by the way, and have been very busy having fun, laughing with friends, spending copious amounts of time with my best beloved, and eating and drinking well. Too busy to blog, in fact, but I'm going to do a quick "drive by" since one of the highlights of my trip occurred 9 days ago. I'm in danger of forgetting even more details than I already have. Sadly, none of my pictures of the evening in question can be put up, lest I offend fellow bloggers -- or the management of the restaurant, since the food pics came out even worse than the people ones.
About a month ago, I emailed Shuna, letting her know that G and I were going to come to the Bay Area in early August. I had mentioned our planned trip during our dessert excursion, and Shuna had asked me to tell her when our plans were firm. A lovely chain then ensued, where Shuna contacted a bunch of Bay Area food bloggers, Sam contacted a bunch more, and Sam then took over and coordinated a dinner at the Helmand in SF, so that I could meet some of the food-blogging community. How incredibly nice was that, I ask you. It was an absolutely delightful evening. It was only our second day of vacation, and we were just getting acclimated. What better way to do so than among strangers who immediately treat you like friends?
The food at the Helmand was very good, but the company was even better. Shuna picked us up at our Berkeley hideout, and together with Kat drove us across the bridge and to the restaurant. Our talk was lively, and they both had lots of great recommendations for our stay in the area -- especially when they heard of G's devotion to tacos. We were the first group to arrive at the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, the Bunrabs appeared, Recchiuti chocolates in hand (thank you!). Suddenly food bloggers and their camp followers started pouring in from everywhere: Amy and her husband Lee, Catherine, Jen, Derrick, Anita with beau, and finally hostess Sam, bestowing lovely homemade amaretti on all comers.
Derrick chose wonderful wines, and I had a chance to talk to some bloggers I've long admired. I was seated next to Amy, and we talked about what it's like to have "food-blog feelers" from places like the Food Network, who are intrigued by your blog but then actually ask if you don't also have a story about feeding a dying loved one since it's more dramatic than your quite authentic tales of food and fellowship and family. The Bunrabs talked eloquently on a number of subjects, including good ways to get rezzies at hard-to-reserve restaurants (G: [long suffering sigh] "We can eat at your French Laundromat if you want to. I just hope they don't expect me to wear clean clothes"). Jen told me about her tasting menu at Redd, where we had a reservation a few days hence. After the meal, a large group of us repaired to Naia for gelato, where I got to hear even more Bay area food gossip. It was simply lovely to meet bloggers as gorgeous and clever as their blogs, like Catherine and Anita. I was sad to miss those who couldn't make it -- Dr. Biggles, Fatemeh, Joy, Cookiecrumb and Stephanie (whom I fortunately caught up with later, at Cowgirl Creamery).
Big thanks once again to both Shuna and Sam, for giving me such a great opportunity -- and thanks again to so many great Bay Area food bloggers, for sharing their community. Proof of the power of blogging -- it doesn't have to make us sit alone in our little cubicles, as our loved ones are wont to fear. Instead, it can cause us go out and play in the sunshine (or in the kitchen) with like-minded folks.
More Bay Area chronicles to come (possibly): in the Edible Schoolyard, lunch at Vik's Chaat House, adventures in Napa, Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market with Sam, in the stillroom with June Taylor, Copia, Redd, Bouchaine Vineyards, dinners with friends in Berkeley and San Rafael, lots of excellent taco trucks and shops, Mitchell's ice-cream, Munchies candy store in Sausalito...and who knows what today may bring?