If I could sum up the 2nd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival that occurred this past weekend in one word it'd be... commercialized. I attended last year's festival and the vibe this year has a definite big push on branding. I felt bombarded by all these signs and product give-aways instead of focusing on enjoying food which is what I came here for. I thought the vendor options were a little disappointing compared to last year as well. I was looking forward to parking in front of the Hog Island Oyster Co booth again and gorging on Kumamotos but they were missing!!! I settled for gorging on RoliRoti's Porchetta sandwich instead... delicious and satisfying like I remembered. However it wasn't enough to erase the disappointment of so few vendors for the first night of the festival.
The second day we decided to hit up the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market which turned out to be the highlight of our trip. We had a blast sampling the various offerings the purveyors offered and made quite a dent in our wallets picking up luxuries we had been wanting to bring back home (post on these items to follow).
Saturday's afternoon event was when we got the brunt of branding overload. We felt like there were more sweet offerings instead of savory which wasn't what we had hoped for at this time of the day. We also collected quite a bounty of swag which is fun to tote and sort through but I honestly don't need any of it. I totally understand that this was a very expensive production and sponsors were needed to make it relatively little out of pocket for featured publishers but I just thought the amount of flashy banners and "brought to you by..." and "thanks to..." statements were excessive. I think I'd be willing to dish out a little to attend the next festival in exchange for less advertising and more emphasis on the food.
Dinner was definitely different from last year's Outstanding in the Field hosted event. I much preferred the family style fare presented last year compared to Cooking Channel's plated spread. The one awesome improvement was the venue change. Last year was in a dreary cold produce warehouse and this year was under the glamorous strung lights in the Grand Hall of the Ferry Building. Ok I'll give props to the sponsors for this venue change.
I did get to meet many bloggers this weekend including the people behind Kirbie's Cravings, KAT'S 9 LIVES, The Ms. Lin Guide, justjennrecipes, Cute Pig, the princess gourmet, The Catty Critic and Food Practice to name a few. I had a wonderful time trading stories with them and picking their brains for must eats. Hopefully we'll have an opportunity to meet up in person again.
Below are photos from the event on the first night, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and part of the second day. The camera died right before the second night's events so I have no photos. However, I'm sure the bloggers I've listed above will have photo's from Saturday's dinner and Sunday's brunch. Enjoy!