With all the street food over the last year, I recognize that the saturation point may be nearing. However, I must make a shameless plug for the second annual San Francisco Street Food Festival on August 21. Just as last year, I've again collaborated with my friends at La Cocina to help plan the festival, with my main role being to convince my favorite restaurants (including Pizzeria Delfina, Aziza, Flour + Water and many, many, more) to join us for the one-day feeding frenzy. They will all be there. Will you? For those who attended last year and got caught in the melee, please rest assured that the footprint of this year's festival is substantially larger, with over double the number of vendors, and instead of one bar, there will be three, manned by some of the best in the business—bartenders from Rye, the Alembic and Beretta. I'll be blogging about this again, giving you my best tips and picks, but for now, save the date. Best of all, admission is free—you pay only for the vittles and beverages at each stand.
You might also consider saving the days after, too, in order to attend the first Street Food Conference, a two-day think tank that will serve as an exploration of food, policy and economics. Participants will engage in lively discussions about the creation of viable economic models that allow small-scale food entrepreneurs to bring the foods they love to the cities in which they live. The panels are packed with forward-thinkers, included writer and noted food truck expert John T. Edge, Molly O'Neill (a writer and former food critic for The New York Times) and many, many others. If that's not enough to convince you, I'm actually hosting the first of the panels, where I'll be joined by Charles Phan, Mourad Lahlou and Iliana de la Vega, who is coming all that way from Austin for the discussion about Open Air Markets, Hawker Stalls and the Art of Making One Great Thing. I think it's going to be a really fun, informative few days, and I'd love to see some familiar faces in the audience. Buy a ticket, won't you?