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Friday, September 19, 2008

Florida Foodbuzz FP Event

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I had wanted to get this post up days ago, but I had no idea how much time and energy it would take to get ready for my Blogiversary Bash. It wiped me out! Seriously, I don't know how some of you who regularly host events do it. It is a LOT of work! You need to let me know what kind of vitamins you're taking!

Last weekend, Mr. SGCC and I headed over to Orlando for the Florida Foodbuzz Featured Publisher event at Todd English’s Blue Zoo Restaurant. This event, hosted by Foodbuzz, of course, was part of their new Dine on Us program designed to bring local food bloggers together. About twenty-five of us were treated to a memorable evening of fun, food and fellowship.

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The Blue Zoo is located in Disney's beautiful Dolphin Hotel. It's a lovely place with an uber sophisticated feel all done up in hues of blue with strikingly modern metallic accents. We were treated to a fabulous six course tasting menu that was created especially for us. The service was impeccable! Each course was introduced by the staff and Executive Chef, Chris Windus was on hand to visit and answer all of our questions.

We all had a good chuckle over the fact that, as each course was served, instead of digging right in we all whipped out our cameras to snap photos first! Aah! We food bloggers are a quirky bunch!

Our feast started off with an Amuse Bouche of a Fresh Littleneck Clam with Bacon Ragout, which was served in a small glass filled with sea salt. Though the clam itself was raw, it has the subtlest smoky taste. It was delicious!

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Next, came the First Course of Shrimp Cocktail Steamrollers. This was a most unusual dish with an even more unusual presentation. All of the components of the dish were layered in a kind of plastic tube. You had to suck them all out where it came together in a big flavor explosion in your mouth. Strange, but brilliant!

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The Second Course was a Beet Salad with Candied Walnuts and Goat Cheese Fondue. Again, a delicious dish!

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After the salad, we were served a Third course of Spice Route Char with Curried Beluga Lentils, Zhataar Carrot and Yogurt Spill. Basically, it was a delightfully moist and flaky arctic char filet, blackened and crispy on the outside. This one drew raves from everyone at the table. I loved it!

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Our Fourth Course was Sous Vide Amish Chicken with Parmesan Polenta, Picholine Olives and a Deconstructed Tomato Sauce. The dish was good, but we were all already spoiled by the marvelous fish that came before it.

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Last, but by no means least was the Dessert Course of Warm Chocolate Cake with Liquid Ganache Center, Maracaibo Chocolate Cream Pudding and Peanut Ice Cream. In my excitement to see chocolate cake, I totally forgot to take a picture of the dish! In essence, it was a small globe of molten chocolate cake swimming in a pool of chocolate pudding and caramel sauce. A tiny scoop of peanut ice cream lay on top. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous dinner.

Though I didn't get a photo of the cake, I did get a nice shot of the excellent bread that was served with dinner. It was served with the most amazing butter laced with fennel.

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It was so much fun to get together with this wacky bunch of bloggers! It was also great to finally meet Ryan Stern, from Foodbuzz, who flew all the way from San Francisco to be with us. We've already been talking about and planning our next big gathering!

Here's the scoop on who was there:

Lys from Cooking in Stilettos
Christey and Peter from Foto Cuisine
Rachel from My Little Marshmallow
Judy from No Fear Entertaining
Chris from Pickles and Cake
Jenn from The Leftover Queen
Ingar from Taste Memory
Erin and Chris from The Olive Notes
Bryan from The Tattooed Gourmet

My sincere thanks go out to Ryan and all the fine folks at Foodbuzz for making this event possible.

Oh, and one more thing. If you ever get to Blue Zoo, go easy on the Zootini cocktails. They may taste like harmless fruit juice, but they pack a powerful punch!

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23 comments:

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Loved that last shot! What a fun night it was though. So nice to meet you and Mr. SGCC!!! Can't wait until next time!

RecipeGirl said...

Looks like it was a BLAST!! How fun. I hope they visit SoCal :)

Patsyk said...

I LOVED that restaurant when we went there a few weeks ago on vacation.

Your pictures of the dishes are mouth-watering!

noble pig said...

This is serious food porn, it's just beautiful...I love that clam, I mean seriously!

Manggy said...

First of all, that is quite a decadent meal! Truly gorgeous! Well, of course I was looking forward to the dessert most of all, but I've got a good dessert head on my shoulders, I can imagine it, hee hee :) Next time!
You and Mr. SGCC make quite a lovely couple! (And I am now so surprised that Mr. Crazy Eyes Guy didn't run for the hills when Mr. SGCC showed up! He looks like he packs quite a punch, heh :)

Debbie said...

Oh the food, the food, the food!!!! Looks like you have a great time and I loved the pictures!!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

It was an awesome night for sure! You got some great shots there, Susan! :)

Hope we can all get together agon real soon!

Maggie said...

This looks like it was a really fun meal! I love the look of that huge flatbread.

erin :: the olive notes said...

It was such a fun night...and great to meet everyone. Love the last photo ;)

Bellini Valli said...

I hope Foodbuzz comes to Canada at some point.You are sop lucky to have met so many wonderful bloggers!! Love the after photo:D

Brilynn said...

That sounds like such a fun event! We need to have a global one of those...

Steph said...

Wow, it looks like you had lots of FUN! It must be nice to be able to take the camera out and start snapping.. sometimes people give me weird looks when I do that at restaurants. Even my family gets a little annoyed when I snap photos before letting them eat.

All those dishes look fabulous!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Awww, you and Mr. SGCC, look so cute together! How fun to meet up with everyone. I'm sure the food and conversation was wonderful, and filled with good memories. I'm jealous!!!

Grace said...

how cool! this looks like it was an awesome event--not only is the food so elegant and drool-inducing, but you also got to meet and spend time with some fantastic folks. thanks for sharing your pictures! (and a zootini sounds yummy!) :)

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Looks like a brilliant time. I really have to go to the next one that is in Florida. I would love to meet fellow Floridian food bloggers.

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Susan - I attended the Foodbuzz gig in LA last January. What a blast! I love that all the food bloggers whip out their cameras. haha
You took some great photos. I especially want to try that clam!

I have the same top you are wearing :)

Lori Lynn

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Hi Everyone! Glad you enjoyed this post, and the pictures. The clam was definitely my favorite course. I could have eaten a dozen!

I believe that anyone can set up an event like this in their town through the Dine on Us program. If you're interested, contact Ryan at Foodbuzz. She is very sweet and adorable!

Judy, Jenn, Erin- I enjoyed meeting you all too! It was such a blast! I'm ready for another go anytime you are. :)

SGF- I wondered where you were. Sorry to have missed you. You definitely must come next time!

Lori Lynn- You have excellent taste! ;)

City Girl said...

What fun! And thank you for visiting my blog :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You DO all realize how jealous you're making the rest of us? ;-)

So glad it was such a great time!

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

You lucky beotch!!! Love the cleavage too....it was as hot as the bread.

Dragonlife said...

Holy Macaroni!
Good on you all!
Such affairs in Japan are either organized by expats or limited to small affairs!
Here in Shizuoka we are going to have an international Sake Bloggers enjoy a Japanese meal with Shizuoka Sake and Italian wine (I will have to apologize to my family in France!).
Four of us only, but our combined blogs at Tokyofoodcast, Urban Sake and Tokyodrikinglass should make for the lack of guests!
Anyway, great stuff!
I do envy you all!
Cheers,
Robert-Gilles

Nicole said...

Looks like a wonderful time and gloriously tasty food. Foodbuzz is just so much fun.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - looks like you guys had a blast.