I am volunteering at the International Food Bloggers Conference, and I could not be happier. After helping the guests register, I was told to wander around and partake before getting my next assignment. Next comes you being jealous.
I started by tasting the Deadlift Imperial IPA from Widmer, which was hoppy in a very mellow way for an IIPA, and their October Fest, which was one of the best malt dominant beers I can remember having in a long time. As I was finishing my beer, I was treated by chef Lisa Dupar to a grilled steak Bahn Mi on a mini baguette with mango sriracha.
Immediately after thinking that was the best sandwich ever, I was forced to question myself. Alaska Seafood gave me there version of a BLT, with Black Cod (smoked) instead of bacon. Alaskan fish is generally the lowest mercury of any seafish, and this smoked cod was absolutely divine in flavor, texture, the very definition of perfect fish.
Speaking of sustainable seafood, I had a taste of Tonnino Tuna packed in olive oil with garlic. Served with a touch of spice on a bed of asian slaw. Tonnino is all line caught, verified by a third party, and their packing plant finds creative uses for their waste. I am told that their waste water is so clean it is potable. I washed that down with a wonderful spicy sweet gazpacho made with watermelon, cucumber, cilantro, cumin and about 10 different peppers, by chef Josh Silvers from Bistro Syrah.
Next I tasted some organic olive oil from Spain. There were about 20 olive oils displayed, so I just told the girl manning the table to blow my mind. She gave me an olive oil that had a strong aftertaste of cucumber (Abbe D Queiles, I think). It blew my mind. She also gave me an unfiltered oil (Nunez De Prado) that tasted distinctly of Kalmatas.
There was lots, lots more, including Wonderful Walla Walla Wines, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. All I can say for now is: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM...