Saturday, November 15, 2008

Im totally in love

With food.

So much so that I am a dedicated follower of the Fabulous Food Show held a the IX Center in Cleveland every November.

I said a FOOD SHOW. Not a Star Trek convention, Craft Fair, Festival no nothing cool like that. I am a fat girl traipsing around a convention center with TONS of other fat people to sample food, watch food being prepared, watch demonstrations on gadgets to make food preparation better, drink wine and spirits to enhance my food experience . There was even a light emitting teeth whitening booth offering 10 min sessions to remove the stains that said food and wine may cause.
Holy Free Sample Batman I am in heaven. Is this NOT a wet dream of every fat person out there? If you google "fabulous food show" you can see what I am talking about. You can taste foods from local and not so local restaurants, big factory foods were represented like Land O' Lakes and Orlando bread. There were lots of artisan food companies specializing in everything from chocolates and cookies, to bar b que sauces and dips. We sampled pasta sauces, jellies made from wine (burgundy and zinfandel), cheeses, cookies and sausages.

The first year we went, we saw Alton Brown who is by far my favorite Food Network personality. He has a couple of shows, Good Eats and Feastin' on Asphalt I/II (and most recently Feastin' on Waves) as well as the host of Iron Chef. If you have not seen his show Good Eats, I promise you will not be disappointed. His knowledge of food is unmatched by even his holiness Emeril, his humor is on point and my S.O. is convinced he was a pothead in his early years.

The next year, we saw Paula Deen. Honestly, she is exactly the same live as she is on her show Paula's Home Cooking and Paula's Party. I am not even kidding when I say we think she was hittin' the wine bar before her show. Her husband Michael is also a big part of her shows now and he was there, doing the cooking. Paula was totally working the crowd and I don't think she did so much as cut up the ciabatta bread that her appetizer was going on. Her pumpkin pie is the only recipe I use, it is fab u lous.

The third year we saw Alton again. I told you he is my favorite. I sprang for the little bit more expensive seating (up to this point I only had bleacher seats) and got a floor seat. Not so good and Ill tell you why. I am not the tallest person in the world and when everyone stands, I cant see anything but the back of the people in front of me. Even when sitting, I have a hard time seeing the stage. As a matter of fact, I liked the bleacher seats better even though I was farther away, if only for the simple fact that I could see beyond the heads in front of me. Anywho, Alton was demonstrating chocolate taffy (his version of a tootsie roll) and was throwing samples out to the crowd. Of course, the really really good seats are the ones that got them. When he called for questions, no one came to the bleacher seats, when the roving camera was .. well roving.. no one came to the bleacher seats. I made a vow right then and there I would spring for the best seats if I was ever going to see Alton again.

This year we saw Guy Fieri. If you have never heard of him, he was a winner on the Food Network's answer to the reality show craze "The Next Food Network Star" as well as the "food dude" on the TGIF commercials. The winner of the show of course getting a contract with Food Network for your own cooking show. How freakin' awesome would that be? Now he is totally hit the big time, owning 5 restaurants on the west coast, spokesperson for TGI Fridays, and has 3 cooking shows (Guy's Big Bite, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and Guy Off the Hook).

I also had FRONT ROW seats...right in front of the stage front row. Not off to the side, or tucked in a corner. FRONT EFFIN ROW. Totally worth it and yes, next year I will also have right in front of the stage and in the front row.
So instead of bitchin' this week, I thought I would share just a few of the pictures I took.

This is for a local restaurant, that happens to be owned and operated by a former Cleveland Brown football player. Bubba was getting interviewed by a local television station as we were getting our samples. I didn't want to seem star struck so I didn't ask for a picture with the interviewer, but he is cutie on our local Fox 8 morning show. Oh and the sauce was pretty good, but a little on the vinegary side for me. S.O. liked the hot style the best.

This company is another locally owned business that sells a sweet blackened sauce, that is excellent on both chicken and beef. I bought 3 bottles as well as the dry rub version. Last year we only bought 2 and sure was missing it when we ran out. It is better than A1 or Heinz 57 (which is my fav but not anymore) on steak.

I am a total popcorn nutjob. I like it any way I can get it, whether it be cheese, caramel or butter and salt. When I was kid, I remember getting a fruity-flavored candied popcorn and low and behold, here it is. You know I bought some, but it didn't make it home. I ate the whole bag in the car!

This my secret to my most awesome food stuffs. This is Sorcerer Seasonings, a local company, who smokes their spices. Hickory smoked no less, so no matter what you cook, there is a touch of smokey bacon-y goodness. I bought it the first time we went to the show, and have used this booth in particular as an "excuse" to go back because I need to.. you know, stock up. Last year I tried the smoked paprika, which is my why paprikas is the best. Seriously, even Paula Deen ain't got nothin' on me when it comes to paprikas! (my picture didn't come out well, hence the ad pic, sorry)

This booth was all about sausage. Pork, chicken, beef... I cant even begin to describe what kind of smells were wafting from this little tiny booth. The lighter lookin' sausage is chicken, with spinach, roasted tomatoes and feta and oh my god it was delicious, so much so I bought some of that as well. And I don't even like feta cheese. At all. Not even a little bit. That along with an asiago and onion cheese spread (we bought at that booth too) thats going to go on a big ole honkin loaf of French bread and under the broiler. Totally yum. We will be having it for dinner on Sunday. Prolly add a mescaline salad with hard boiled eggs. Yummy!

There were so many booths of cookies, biscotti, and cookie dough!

Can you see how close I am to the stage? Oh my god it was AWESOME.. and he is just as cute in person...

These two are true Guy fans. Who would of thought TV cooks would be so popular people dress like them?

So that was my day. I seriously am already planning next year.


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