Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Return of the Tomato

The San Francisco Bay Area (and we stretch to include Napa Valley to the north) is really emerging as a leader in the culinary world with some amazing chefs, restaurants and an abundance of farm goods. So that means more and more food events. Seems like there's a special event every week.

Today is the first day of what's being called Heirloom Tomato Week. (It's actually more than a week since it runs from Aug. 14 to 24.) It's supposedly the first of three major food events that will culminate with a week long Food and Wine event the same time next year. (I'm actually more interested in the second event in this series focused on crab in January 2009.) It's nice to see the tomato get its due after being falsely accused earlier this year of being a salmonella spreader.

Participating restaurants will feature heirloom tomatoes on their menus or offer tasting menus dedicated to the heirloom tomato. When you dine and pay with your VISA card, you get a special commemorative tomato cookbook. To find a restaurant, you can check the list out on OpenTable. I actually don't have any plans to go to any of these restaurants, so I'm interested in hearing from anyone who does go what kind of dishes that surprised or delighted you. I'm a big fan of heirloom tomatoes, but I'm expecting to see a lot of appetizers and salads. Prove me wrong!

(BTW, in the photo above, I just discovered the difuser glow filter in Photoshop. I think it gives a neat, artsy effect. What do you think?)

7 comments:

Carroll said...

None of those places are in our immediate 'hood, so no reports from here -- but your photo effect? Love it!

Anonymous said...

I don't really care for the effect... it just looks like you're shooting in poor lighting. Maybe it looks better in different situations?

Mrs. L said...

Ohhh....crab week...works for me!

I think the effect is fine. Every photo? No. But now and then for effect? Works.

Chef Ben said...

Thanks Carroll. Anonymous, this is something that's subjective. I think it gives a nice soft focus, I use it a lot for portraits of people. Mrs. L, I'll watch my difuser glow use! :)

Anonymous said...

Filter use on people yes; Filter use on tomatoes no

foodho said...

Chef Ben, I like the concept, but it does look kind of noisy in the manner of low light picture taking... but with those curvaceous and sexy tomatoes it's all good!

Cookie said...

I like the photo effect! I have yet to figure out any of the settings on my camera. :(