Are you ready for SF CHEFS 2010  next week (8/10-15)? Jump on tickets now, if you haven't already, for what was one of my favorite events last year , now in its second year... a festival that has already become a must for food and drink fans (and who among us is not?) The multi-day festival covers all epicurean loves: food, spirits, cocktails, wine; showcasing San Francisco's finest, and headquartered in Grand Tasting Tents erected in Union Square just for the occasion. Classes, lunches, dinners and parties are spread out at nearby restaurants or in the Westin St Francis .
Much of the same crew  is behind the event as last year (GGRA, Andrew Freeman & Co., Tannin Management, Dominic Phillips Event Marketing), with a similar format but more streamlining when it comes to seminars and tastings. I plan on frequenting most days (Tuesday through Sunday), as there's something for everyone going on daily.
There's a Top Chef Happy Hour  Saturday afternoon, and a lamb-centric fundraiser party Saturday night with a killer chef line-up from Elizabeth Falkner to Mourad Lahlou, Craig Stoll to Hoss Zare. Then there's Tyler Florence's Bohemian Bash after-party at Wayfare Tavern that night. Choosing what to attend is no easy feat.
One of last year's party treats: Chef Hubert Keller on the turntables. Photo by Virginia Miller
Here are a couple more key events I'm anticipating -- check the full SF CHEFS schedule  for more:
8/13, 6-10pm - Hog in the Fog Opening Party in Grand Tasting Tent 
With live bands creating the backdrop, the line-up at the official opening party is pretty much stellar: chefs who know their pig are cooking, such as executive chefs from Frances, Incanto, Namu, Bar Bambino, A16, and Slanted Door (yes, this means Charles Phan, Melissa Perello, Chris Cosentino and so on). It's a thrill having them all offer eats in one place. Wente Vineyards is pouring from their portfolio of wines. I'm particularly anticipating a maelstrom of bartender greats mixing cocktails for the party, like Duggan McDonnell, H. Ehrmann, Brian MacGregor, Daniel Hyatt, Dominic Venegas, Reza Esmali and Martin Cate (I told you this was gonna be good!) And don't forget the Tablehopper sponsored after-party with Asian street food theme and foods (10pm-1am) at E&O Trading Co.
$95 for Hog in the Fog ($75 for Visa Signature cardholders; includes unlimited food and drink)
$35 for After-party ($25 with Visa Signature card)
8/14 and 8/15, 12-4pm - Grand Tasting in Grand Tasting Tent 
Again, the line-up is impressive: at a manageable 30 chefs and restaurants during each of the tasting events, this was so well-organized last year (unlike many I've been to), that not only was there no lines for a bite, there was always food ready and waiting when I walked up to a station, and time to chat or say hello to the chefs. You'll be served food from such greats as Michael Mina, Jennie Lorenzo of Fifth Floor, Perry Hoffman of Etoile, David Lawrence of 1300 on Fillmore, Bruce Hill of Bix, and Dominique Crenn of Luce. The tasting afternoons also offer 25 wines (served by sommeliers and winemakers), cocktails, spirits, and a range of drink seminars.
$125 ($95 for Visa Signature cardholders; includes unlimited food and drink)
- Purchase tickets and view the schedule :
- A free iPhone app  listing events, ticketing, Twitter and Facebook feeds
Check out Virginia personal culinary itinerary site: www.theperfectspotsf.com