There is nothing better than a delicious bite of food obtained on the street. Even better when you can visit stand after stand all on a row serving up delicious bites. My women's photography group decided to go to the San Francisco Street Food Festival and then lo and behold, I was offered a chance to be a Foodie Correspondent for Foodbuzz which upped my excitement ante about this day of food!
My morning began meeting Caleb Zigas, the acting Executive Director of La Cocina. He took us on a tour of the festival before it opened and introduced us to a number of the chefs. We also got a chance to photograph and sample a number of dishes. I want to thank La Cocina and Foodbuzz for the opportunity to visit the festival before the crowds descended!
What is La Cocina? While Caleb explained it on Saturday, when researching the festival, I found a description from the About La Cocina page that I thought was better than my paraphrased summary:
"La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent low-income food entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses.
By providing affordable, shared, commercial kitchen space, an array of industry-specific technical assistance and services, and access to market opportunities, La Cocina works with entrepreneurs as they launch, grow, and formalize successful food businesses.
We focus primarily on women from culturally diverse communities and immigrant communities. Our vision is that our program participants will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant and diverse economy doing what they love to do."
Sounds fabulous, yes?
The coolest part of the festival was that established businesses, like Thomas Odermatt from Roli Roti, were there celebrating and supporting La Cocina's mission. The food community in the Bay Area is just amazing!
If you want a front-of-the-line V.I.P. pass for Roli Roti's truck at the San Francisco Farmer's Market, or a number of other foodie delights, PLUS an opportunity to support La Cocina, you should check out the silent auction that is running this week!
While I took so many pictures that I am going to spread the foodie finds over the next week, I had to share one of the favorites from my photography group. Onigilly is run by Kan Hasegawa and Koji Kanematsu who wanted to bring their version of a traditional Japanese snack, onigiri, to the United States.
I had the seaweed Onigilly which only cost me $3! It was full of flavor and had I not been eating all day, I would have gone back for more. My photography friends definitely did!
While the festival is over for the year, you can check out a number of vendors at Off the Grid, a coordinated mobile food event. You can also help La Cocina's efforts to publicize the businesses they support by voting for your favorite Web design. Local designers created Web sites for five businesses that work with La Cocina and Wells Fargo is offering a cash prize to the Web design that gets the most votes.