It was a busy weekend for me as I explored two major food shows in San Francisco – the Good Food Awards at the Ferry Building and the major Winter Fancy Food Show in Moscone Center.

The Good Food Awards celebrates the artisan food makers around the country, in fields such as charcuterie, cheese, pickles, chocolates, coffee, oils and jams. Finalists and award winners showcased their products to food lovers at the Ferry Building on Saturday.

Pouring local Dela Paz coffee for visitors to the Good Food Awards Marketplace.

Pouring local De La Paz coffee for visitors to the Good Food Awards Marketplace.

I was excited to see Olympic Provisions’ cured meats from Portland, Ore., and one of my favorite bites was an amazing cheese from Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Wisconsin. The Good Food Marketplace expanded this year to space on the upper level of the Ferry Building, where the chocolates, oils and confections were on display.

Saturday’s marketplace always seem dwarfed by the annual Winter Fancy Food Show, a major trade show gathering thousands of food suppliers and connecting them with retailers. While some of the booths featured recognizable brand names, others were newcomers just a few years old hoping to grab some attention.

The Good Food Awards expanded to the second level of the Ferry Building this year.

The Good Food Awards expanded to the second level of the Ferry Building this year.

The endless rows of booths with a variety of samplings filled two exhibition halls at the Moscone Center. From the blur of products I saw, I feel the trends seem to be focused on popcorn, organic fruit sodas, coconut water (not my favorite), beef jerky and everything and anything gluten-free. My favorite bite from the show, which continues until Tuesday, was a partnership between a cheese company and local liquid nitrogen ice cream maker Smitten, who created a blue-cheese ice cream that was creamy and delightful.

A lot of snack foods were on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center.

A lot of snack foods were on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center.

The Winter Fancy Food Show gives people a chance to meet the makers behind the products, such as LA Chef Sharone Hakman who developed his own line of spicy BBQ sauces.

The Winter Fancy Food Show gives people a chance to meet the makers behind the products, such as L.A. Chef Sharone Hakman (and former “Master Chef” contestant) who developed his own line of high-end BBQ sauces.

Several companies partnered with famous brands, such as Smart Cool who created a candy based on popular children brand Icee.

Several companies partnered with famous brands, such as Swiss Colony who created a candy cake treat like a petit four based on popular children brand Icee flavors.

The following slideshow is just a glimpse at the exhibitors at both the Good Food Awards and Winter Fancy Food Show.

7 Responses to Weekend Filled With Food Shows: Good Food Awards + Winter Fancy Food

  1. I wish I could have attended the Fancy Food show, but I did go to the Marketplace on Saturday and it was great! I half-expected to be in one of your photos, haha. Blue cheese ice cream sounds very intriguing..

    • Ben Ben says:

      It was soooo crowded at the Marketplace. I could barely try any of the food and people kept walking into my shot!

  2. Tara says:

    Wow, looks like I missed a great weekend full of eats and food!

    So agree with coconut water, I think it tastes like feet. It is extremely rare when I crave one.

    • Ben Ben says:

      LOL, Tara, I never thought of coconut water that way but I agree! Don’t know why coconut milk tastes like coconut but the water doesn’t. What’s odd is have had fresh coconut juice straight from the coconut in the islands and it tasted sweet. Not sure what they did to make the water, but too bad.

  3. Brenda Ton says:

    Great recap and photos, Ben! Looks like I missed out – been wanting to go to both events for a while. I can only imagine how great the blue cheese ice cream is. I had the blue cheese ice cream made at Coqueta and is wonderful with a warm apple tart/pie.

    • Ben Ben says:

      Now you have a year to plan! 🙂 Smitten got so many good responses that I’m sure they’re going to think hard about putting it on their menu.

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    I remember going to so many of those Fancy Food Shows. They are so much fun and just overwhelming in size. Your feet ache at the end of the day, but your tummy is quite happy. 😉