30 November, 2017

Top Five Reasons to start your California Wine Journey in Sacramento #SMF

The International Food Blogger Conference was held this September in Sacramento for a second year.   I was once more delighted by the amazing farm to fork food along with other intentional items like the Original Balsamic Vinegar. Many thanks to the organizers, Foodista and Zephyr, as well as all the attendees and presenters.  You made my IFBC17 experience memorable and productive.  See you next year when I will again enjoy the reduced conference rate for writing about the conference! 
 For my third obligatory post, I wanted to write about Sacramento as a destination.  Many of the sponsors provided food for free.

 First, when planning your wine vacation in Northern California, don't forget to check Airport code SMF - that's Sacramento. .  Many people like the glamour and plethora of long haul direct flights to SFO and others like scrappy, affordable OAK.  For many people SMF or Sacramento will get you to a number of up and coming wine regions as well as get you past a lot of icky traffic if you are going to Napa.  Download their handy wine region card here:
Check out some very tasty wine regions that are an easy drive from an easy airport and you will see why SMF is a great base to explore.  Especially if you are coming from across the country, make your trip easy and spend your first planning night in Sacramento.

It will give you the opportunity to try the best of California produce transformed into delicious meals and snacks. So much of the produce that comes from California makes its freshest appearance in dishes in Sacramento

Two of my favorites were Vegan/vergetarian.  My favorite Vegan Option came from Red Rabbit.  2718 J Street, Sacramento. We we sampled the most delicious Vegan Poke I ever had.  With the mastery of spices and fresh produce the team at Red Rabbit conjured up a meaty yet meatless Poke.  With such nuanced spices and deft preparation, I didn't miss the Ahi! From cocktails through desserts, Red Rabbit focuses on the fresh and the seasonal and how they can help you experience farm to fork.

Another was Thai Basil 2341 J Street, Sacramento.   Connect with them on Facebook to learn more.  They provided IFBC attendees with a bite of authentically Thai spices and fresh California produce.  I was so enamoured of the bite I forgot to take notes, but the star was unmistakable; it's on my list for my next SMF Sojourn.

Downtown and Vine 1200 K Street Suite 8 Sacramento rocked my world with a taste sensation I would never have thought to put together: Edamame and roasted Grape Crostini.  Each bite was savory and crispy and the roasted grape was a revelation.  They do catering, have an event space and also have a tapas room.

Puur Chocolate was a delicious treat for all of us.  Chef Ramon Perez has taken his well earned pastry expertise to create a unique online chocolate boutique.  His skill with confisserie and his facility with relationships culminates in creative and provocative chocolate combinations.  Delicious!
it was amazing to try his combinations.   I hope I end up on Santa's nice list to get some of these under the tree!

I can't leave you without a shout out to my favorite Sacramento hot spot Ella's, 1131 K Street Sacramento - valet parking on 12th street.  This lovely spot where Randall Selland puts out amazing farm to fork cuisine, has a  wine list is a delight (I don't even know what their corkage policy is as I never feel the need to BYOB), and the bar is a spirit filled revelation .  We closed down our IFBC experience there with a series of small plates..including my favorite:Patatas Bravas.

And of course, a recap of last year's favorite things can be found here:

Next year in New Orleans, people!  I will miss Sacramento and the fresh delcious farm to fork cocktail to dessert feasts!


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