I felt oddly guilty going on a business trip in which the main purpose was to eat. It felt more like a vacation; planning every day around meals. I was pretty meticulous in my research helped by foodie friends who either live or have lived in the Bay Area. I mapped out the farmers markets, gourmet shops and restaurants that I wanted to visit and happily filled four days foraging for gourmet food. I fittingly ended the trip with an evening pilgrimage to Chez Panisse that fully lived up to its reputation.
I didn’t just eat though – I met amazing people too. I’ve discovered since entering the food world that people who are passionate about what they do are very generous with their time and knowledge. This was also true in the book world and I wonder if it is true in every business. The wonderful Jane Connors from the Ferry Building personally took me around and introduced me to producers that she thought I’d like to meet. The Ferry Building is a Mecca to food and on this particularly glorious sunny day the colors of the flowers and vegetables were almost cartoon like. I spent the whole day slightly overwhelmed by all the foods on display but happy in the knowledge that places like this still exist in the world.
The next day Samin Nosrat; writer, cook, teacher and all round omniscient foodie, met me for coffee and shared her (very long) list of favorite producers with me. These are just two examples of the extreme generosity I encountered from people to whom I was basically a total stranger.
Below are a few photos from my what I hope will be the first of many food foraging trips.