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Obsessions, ramen and Top Chefs--just a taste of what Eat Drink SF has in store

Traci Des Jardins will be at Eat Drink SF with food from her just-opened restaurant The Commissary
Traci Des Jardins will be at Eat Drink SF with food from her just-opened restaurant The Commissary
courtesy Traci Des Jardins

This weekend, the event formerly known as SF Chefs, rolls out a new name (Eat Drink SF) and a new venue (Fort Mason), as well as the cornucopia of workshops, tastings, demos and downright gluttony that put it on the foodie map.

While there have been some dinners and a whopping gala held in advance, the main event begins this Thursday, July 31, with a sold-out (sorry) virtual bar crawl through some of the city's top watering holes.

The Grand Opening Celebration kicks off Friday at Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion (no more tasting tent), following a sold-out (sorry again) industry day of demos and panels. The Grand Opening theme is "obsession," which should be enough to get your appetite up. Roka Akor, flour+water, A16, Central Kitchen, Delfina and Spruce are a few of the featured restaurants, whose chefs will, "show off their latest culinary obsessions," according to organizers.

Saturday offers tasting workshops on wine, cocktails and beer, plus an appearance by Top Chef darling Fabio Viviani (he really is darling--I've interviewed him!) and two big tasting events. The first, in the early afternoon, focuses on chefs paying tribute to their mentors. Participants for this one are all over the map, from Poggio Trattoria to Schroeder’s to Twenty Five Lusk to Frozen Kuhsterd. The evening Grand Tasting asks each chef to prepare a classic or signature dish from their restaurant. It's another eclectic nosh-around, with The Cavalier, Rice Paper Scissors, Mission Rock Resort, Hog & Rocks, Chino, Tout Sweet Patisserie and many more.

In addition to hangovers, Sunday brings a ramen noodle workshop, a couple of sold-out (still sorry) cocktail events, with an afternoon Grand Tasting event that celebrates the area's "tastemakers." The Commissary, Zero Zero, Stones Throw, Straits and Bourbon Steak are some of the featured restaurants.

With each Grand Tasting comes a hefty choice of wines and cocktails, with wines from Lodi and Washington State having a particularly strong presence.

Having an American Express card will spring you into a lounge with additional beverages and tastings, while forking over some extra cash will get you into the Grand Tastings ahead of the masses.

Since a number of events are sold out, best to get your Eat Drink SF tickets as soon as possible--and sharpen your elbows if you're headed to any of the tasting events!

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